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Geography, History, and Antiquities 




Author of *' Himdhnok on Monviouthxhire^'' and 
Gold Medallist <f the Royal National Eisteddfod of Wale:*, 




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library i 


(by kind permission) 

To the President and Members of tlie 


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This outline of the Geography and History of 
Glamorgan is an amplification of a prize essay at the 
Royal National Eisteddfod of Wales in 1905, and is 
now published under the auspices of the National 
Eisteddfod Association. 

During recent years, by the strides made in Education, 
there has arisen a demand for works dealing with special 
districts, as comprised within the limits of our Shires. 
To meet this much-desired demand in the case of Glam- 
organ is the purpose of this work. 

Morganwg, from the earliest times, is an intensely 
interesting territory in its Antiquarian, Historical and 
Ecclesiastical connections. Its ancient inhabitants, the 
Silures, bear the proud distinction of being the last to 
yield to the military prowess of proud imperial Rome. 
The Saxons and Danes were not privileged to secure 
even a foothold in any part of the territory, though they 
made occasional irruptions here and destroyed many of 
our Churches. The ruins of its numerous Norman 
Castles testify to-day that the followers of William the 
Conqueror found the Cymry of Morganwg a brave and 
stubborn people, and though compelled to yield " The 
Vale" to Fitzhamon and his companion knights, yet 
their conquest was only partially accomplished, for the 
Welsh insisted upon being governed according to the 
laws of their own great law-giver, Hywel Dda. 

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The History, as epitoiuised in these pages, is but a 
brief outline of the stirring and epoch-making events 
enacted at various periods from the earliest times to the 
dose of the Great Civil War of the 17th century. It is 
4» be sincerely hoped that it may serve as an introduc- 
tion to th6 more comprehensive study of the county 
history, as embodied in the vahiable works specified 
below, to which the author is under special obligation, 
VIZ. : — 

" Book of Llan Dav " (Oxford Edition), " Myfyrian Arch- 
aiology" containing the Chronicles of the Kings and 
Princes, ** Rymer's Poedera," " Ordericus Vitalis," Free- 
man's ** Norman Conquest," " Florence of Worcester," 
" Annales Cambrise," Clark's "Land of Motgan," " Cardiff 
Records," " lolo MSB," " Welsh People " by Rhys and 
Jones, Nicholas's "Glamorgan," "State Papers, Stuart 
Period," &c. 

Special thanks are due to the numerous friends who 
have so kindly given permission to use photographs 
and sketches, which bear their names in the List of 

December, 1907, 

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Etymology of name — Position, boundaries, extent 
— Coast features — Islands — Surface — Mountains 
and hills — Rivers — Soil, agriculture, etc. — Climate 
— Geology and mineralogy, Mediaeval references. 

Manufactures 42 — 52 

Iron and steel — Copper smelting — Tinplate making 
— Patent fuel — Building brick. Terra Cotta, and 
Potteries— Swansea and Nantgarw Ceramics — 
Superphosphates and Chemical manures. 

Internal Communication .... 52 — 57 
Railways — Ca nals. 

Political Facts 58 — 78 

Population — Language distribution — Divisions, 
Modern and Ancieilt — Market towns- — Parishes — 
Hundreds— County Council — Parliamentary repre- 
sentation — Legal administration — Education — 
Early schools— Commission of Enquiry, 1846— Higher 
Education — Internediate Education — University 
College, South Wales and Monmouthshire. 

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Aberavan — Aberdare or Cynon Valley— Barry- 
Bridgend — Briton Ferry — Caerphilly — Cardiff— 
Cowbridge — Kenfig — Llandaff — Llantrisant — Llan- 
twit Major — Maesteg- -Merthyr Tydfll- Neath - 
Penarth — Pontypridd — Rliondda Valley — Rhj^mney 
and Pontlottyn — Swansea. 



{a) Roman Period, 75-409 a.d. . . 213—232 

Extent of Morganwg— Roman Conquest- Caratacus 
— Roman roads — Roman remains on Ely race- 
course -Via Julia Maritima Sarn Hir- Sarn 
Helen— Roman encampments— Roman government. 

{b) Saxon Period 449—1089 a.d. . . 232—256 

Period of Arthur — A legend of Glamorgan— King 
Tewdrig — Meurig ap Tewdrig — Morgan M wynfa^\T 
— Sub-kingdom of Gly^^^sig — Saxon incursions - 
Rhys ab Arthfael — Danish visits — Morgan Hen — 
King Edgar's visits — Tthel Ddu — Gwrgaut ab Ithel 
— lestyn ap Gwrgant — Seat of government of 
Princes of Morganwg. 

(c) Norman Period, 1089 — 1170 a.d. . 256 — 274 

Coming of Fitzhamon — Conquest of Glamorgan — 
Distribution to twelve knights — Territory granted 
Welsh princes — Times succeeding the Conquest — 
Rebellion of Welsh against Feudal customs — Pain 

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Turbervill as leader of Welsh — Interference of 
William Rufus — Robert Consul as First Earl of 
Gloucester— Chronicles of the time — Ivor Bach*s 
revolt and imprisonment of William, the Second 
Earl of Gloucester — Gerald de Barri's shrewd 

(d) Plantagenet Period 1170—1400 a.d. . 274—298 

Henry IPs visits to South Wales — Ajchbishop 
Baldwin's itinerary — Glamorgan under the De 
Clares — Rebellion of Llewelyn Bren — Social 
Life, early 14th century — Glamorgan under the 
Despensers — Edward II. grants charters to Cardiff 
and other Glamorgan towns — Rebellion of Marcher 
Lords against Despenser. 

(e) Period of The Two Roses, 1400-85 a.d. 298—314 

Cruel laws of Henry IV. against W^elsh — Owain 
Glyndwr's rebellion— His adventures and exploits 
in Glamorgan — Cadwgan y Fwyell — Battle of 
Grosmont— Battle of Pwllmelyn— Glyndwr's visit 
to Bast Orchard Castle. 

(/) The Tudor Period, 1485—1603 a.d. . 314—336 

Jasper Tudor, lord of Glamorgan — His beneficent 
administration — Incorporation of the Marches — 
Dissolution of religious houses — Edward VI. and 
Glamorgan — Reforms in reign of Elizabeth — Trans- 
lation of Scriptures and Common Prayer — Progress 
in trade and commerce — Pirates in the Bristol 
Channel — Social life of the period — StradliMg 

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ig) The Stuart Period .... 336—368 

Local assessment of ship money — Levy of Mor- 
ganwg men for enforcement of Episcopacy on 
Scotland — Their march from Cardiff to meet the 
King at Oxford, and their defeat at Tewkesbury — 
Acute dissension between Lord Herbert of Raglan 
and the Marquis of Hertford — Laugharne's 
progress in South Wales — King Charles at Raglan 
— Glamorgan declares for Parliament and departure 
of King — Sir Charles Kemeys' attack on Cardiff — 
Laugharne to the rescue — Disaffection of the 
Glamorgan gentry led by Major Gen. Stradling — 
Laugharne recedes from the Parliament cause in 
1648~Cromweirs visit to South Wales — Battle of 
St. Fagans —Storming of Chepstow and death of 
Sir Nicholas Kemeys — Complete submission of 
Glamorgan and South Wales — Industrial era. 


Beaupre — Coity — Castell Coch — Dinas Powis— 
Dunraven — East and West Orchard — Fonmon— 
Hensol — Ogmore -Penllin — Penmark - - Peterstone 
— St. Donat's — St. George's- St. Fagan's — St. 
Quintin — Sully — Talyf an — Wenvoe — Castles of 

MENTS 410—443 

British period — Llantwit Major — Llancarvan — 
Norman period — Ewenny Priory — Neath Abbey — 
Margam Abbey — Cardiff Religious houses. 

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Remains of Neo-lithic and Bronze ages— Stone 
circles— Cairns or Carneddau — Cromlechau — Meini 
Hir — Stones of Post-Roman period. 

COUNTY 468—471 

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By permission of B. Parry, Swansea. 






By permission of W. Harris, Merthyr. 


By permission of W. Harris, Merthyr. 



S. Timothy, Ystrad. 







Old Print. 



Old PHnt. 



By permission of John Ward, Cardiff Musfvm. 















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howbll's school, LLANDAFF 



By permitsion o/ Cardiff Corporation, 



Alfred Freke, Cardiff. 


By permissio/i of J. Bollinger, 


By pemiissUm of Cardiff Corporation. 


Alfred Freke. 



By permission of Cardiff Coiporation. 







W. Harris^ Merthyr. 


W. Harris, Merthyr. 




















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S. Timothy, 


birds' eye VIEW OF SWANSEA .... 201 

B. Parry, Sivansea. 


B. Parry, Swansea, 


B. Parry, Swansea. 


By permission of Sir Isaac Pitman «5r» Suns. 



T. H. Thomas, Esq., R.C.A. 


Harleian M.S.S. 

A. J. L. Whitehead. 







ST. pagan's castle 
oystermouth castle . 
penrice castle, GOWER 


. 375 

. 378 

. 381 

. 387 

. 395 

. 403 

. 405 

. 409 

. 417 

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P. PooU. 






COMMON .... 

stone circle on carn llecharth 
cist vaen on drummau hill 
stone circle on cefn y gwrhyd 
tumulus of crug yr avan 
Arthur's stone in gower . 
duffryn cromlech 
ogam stone of ken fig 
maen hir, cefn gellygaer 
maen teyrnog, cefn brithdir . 










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NAME.— Glamorgan (Welsh, Morganwg) is a 

corruption of the Welsh designation gwlad-mobgan, 

i.e., the territory or country of Morgan. Morgan is 

supposed to have been a Gwentian prince who is 

said to have removed his court from Caerlleon to 

Radyr Brigan and Margam, districts further west, 

on account of the inroads of the Saxons of Mercia 

in the 6th century. Morgan is described in the 

Brut and Welsh Chronicles as Morgan Mwynfawr, 

a knight of the court of the famous King Arthur. 

" Tri Rhuddf anogion Ynys Prydain : Arthur, 

Morgan Mwynfawr, a Rhun fab Beli ; sef pan 

ydd elynt i ryfel, ni fynnai neb aros gartref 

rhag maint ai cerid, &c." Myf . Arch ; p.404.) 

An ancient manuscript has the following record : 

" Morgan Mwynfawr was King of Glamorgan, 

a wise, a generous, a humane, a gentle, and 

a merciful prince; he made good laws, and 

was so beloved by his subjects, that no one 

would leave him, or stay at home behind him 

whenever he went to war. He made a law 

that all men who had^awsuits and quarrels 

should, before they would try them by the 


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laws of the land, refer the matter to twelve 
pious and merciful men, and the King to be 

director It was from 

him the country was called Glamorgan ; and 
the gentleness which his good laws produced 
in the country was called the gentleness of 
Glamorgan (mwyndee morgan wg) and be- 
came a proverb all over Wales." 
Morgan's territory comprised a much larger extent 
of country than the present county of Glamorgan. 
At one time it was designated Essyllwg, i.e., the 
country or domain of Essyllt; and the people were 
called Essyllwyr (Latin, Silures). The territory 
included Monmouthshire, parts of Brecknock, Caer- 
marthenshire, Gloucestershire, (Fferyllwch or Can- 
tref Coch), and Herefordshire (Ewyas and Erging)- 


The county lies between 51 deg. 24 min. and 60 deg. 
48 min. north latitude, and between 3 deg. 11 min. 
and 4 deg. 18 min. west longitude. It is bounded 
on the south by the Bristol Channel; on the north 
by Brecknockshire and Caermarthenshire ; on the 
west by the Bristol Channel and Caermarthen- 
shire, the river Llwchwr being part boundary in the 
latter case ; on the east by Monmouthshire, the river 
Rhymni forming the line of separation. 

Its form is very irregular, having its greatest 
length from east to west, i.e., from the Rhymni River 
to Worms Head (Pen-y-pyrod), and measuring 63 
miles. The breadth in the widest part from north to 
south, i.e., from Castell Groes, a point north of 
Merthyr Tydfil to Aberddawen is 29 miles. 

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The total area comprises an extent of 808 square 
miles, i.e., 547,070 acres, being third in comparative 
size of the counties of Wales, exceeded only by Caer- 
marthenshire and Montgomeryshire. 

In circumference the county measures about 130 


COAST FEATURES.- The coastline of Glamor- 
ganshire is about 83 miles in length. For two-thirds 
of its extent, the coast is composed of formidable 
limestone rocks, which rise to a height exceeding 200 
feet; in some places rising almost perpendicularly 
from the beach to swimming heights of a daring and 
serrated expression. From Penarth Point, near Car- 
diff, to. beyond Nash Point, a distance of 28 miles, 
and from Mumbles Head to the Worms Head, with 
only a slight break in Oxwich Bay, a distance of 
nearly 24 miles, are characterised by formidable 
rocky coasts of the Upper Lias formation, affording 
but few nooks of effectual shelter for shipping. 

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The rugged clifif-scenery of Gower from the 
Mumbles to the Worms Head and Ehossili Bay is 
truly magnificent; it affords a view which, for 
extent, variety, and grandeur is almost incompar- 
able, not surpassed even by the scenery of the 
Cornish and Pembrokeshire coasts. 


These calcareous rocks of the coasts of Glamorgan 
are famous for the number of majestic caverns 
which they contain, which are ornamented with 
beautiful stalactites, and also with crystallized 
spars of chaste design. The intermittent springs of 
some of these caves are objects of the greatest 
wonder. Half-a-mile from Lavemock Point is a 
famous Alabaster Cave. The cliffs of Gower are 
famous for their bone caverns. 

The prominent projections of the coast are 
Lavernock Point, Nell's Point, near Barry, 
EoosE Point, Breaksea Point, near Gileston, Nash 

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Point, with its lighthouse, Newton Point, Pobth- 
CAWL Point, Mumbles Head, with its lighthouse, 
Whiteshell Point, Pwll du Head, Oxwich Point, 
Porteynon Point, Worms Head, and Whiteford 


The Openings are the Mouths of the Rhymni, 
Tafp, and Ely, Barry Harbour, Mouths of the Daw 
or Ddawen, Ogwr, and Avan, Port Talbot, Mouths 
of the Nedd and Tawe, Langland Bay, Caswell 
Bay, Pennard Pill, Oxwich Bay, Porteynon Bay, 
Rhossili Bay, and Burry Inlet with the Mouth 
of the Llwchwr. Langland, Caswell, and Oxwich 
Bays, with their charming cliff scenery, are famous 
for their warm shelly sands and bone caverns ; these 
are the admiration of all sightseers. 

The low-lying sections of the coast are known as 
Burrows: such are The Kenfig Burrows, Mar- 

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OAM Burrows, Baglan Burrows, Crymlyn Bur- 
rows (all near Briton Ferry), Oxwich Burrows. 

'\ The most curious and impressive features of the 
coast, west of the mouth of the Ogwr, are the brown 
wastes of the sandhills, which rise in places to an 
imposing height. All the coast district between the 
Ogwr and the Nedd shows traces of an onward 
march of sand. One little dreams what sand can do 
till a sight is obtained of this part of the coast of 
Glamorganshire, and hears the tales which people 
have to tell who live in the hamlets close by, and in 
the remains of the Ancient City of Kenfig close on 
the edge of the great sand dunes. How at one time 
the sand came like snow, and covered a cottage, 
whose inmates had to be dug out. How 300 years 
ago a city existed here, which the sand covered, * just 
as a giant might have covered it with a corner of his 
robe.' Amidst the dunes on a windy day the Sand 
Goblin will fill your pockets, your hair, your eyes, 
and will sting your face with a hundred needles, and 
make you turn your back on him, if it is only for a 
moment's respite. From the beach you can see the 
Sker Kocks on the left, and the whole trend of the 
vast bay, as it sweeps away towards the Mumbles 
Head. Out at sea one may see, when a south-westerly 
wind blows, the Sker weather. It is a line of foam 
that marks the Sker sandbank, where many a ship 
has been lost, and it is like nothing so much as a 
double row of teeth." (De Vere Stacpoole.) 

ISLANDS. — The Flat and the Steep Holmes, 
lying in mid-channel. Sully Island, Barry Island, 
Tusker Eock near the Mouth of the Ogwr, Burry 

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Holm at the westerly entrance to the Burry Inlet. 

Drayton, in his " Polyolbion," has sung of the 
Islands of the Bristol Channel in the following char- 
acteristic strain: — 

"Of all tli« inland isles her aovereisn Severn keeps, 
That bathe their amorous breasts within her secret deeps, 
(To love her Barry much, and SuHy though she seem, 
The Flat Holm and the Steep as likewise to esteem), 
Thi« nobleet British nymph yet likes her Lundy best, 
And to great Neptune'a grace prefers before the reat." 

The Steep Holme is about a mile-and-a-half in 
■circumference, and rises out of the sea to a height of 
some 400 feet. It is plentifully populated with 
rabbits. There is some splendid sprat-fishing here; 
this particular kind of fish is specially caught for the 
Bristol and Cardiff markets. In olden times, Moorish 
and Danish pirates made the island their refuge. 
They did much mischief at a period when the mer- 
cantile trade of England was in its infancy in the 
reign of the Tudor Sovereigns, and Bristol was the 
•chief port of the realm. Here Githa, the mother of 
Harold, and the little daughter of the fallen Saxon 
^arl, found a sanctuary after William the Conqueror 
laid siege to and captured the City of Exeter. It was 
here that Gildas, the historian, retired to write his 
history until compelled by Danish pirates to seek 
shelter elsewhere. The Cardiff Records tell us that 
two of the murderers of Thomas a Beckett were 
buried on the Holmes. 

The Flat Holme lies 3J miles to the north of 
the Steep Holme. Upon it has been erected the 
Channel Lighthouse, with a powerful occulting 
light. An interesting feature of the island is an 
•excellent spring of the most delicious water, which 

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possesses the curious phenomenon of filling at the 
«)bb-tide, and of emptying at the flow. The spring 
tide rises to a height of 35 feet on thesB islands. On 
the beach may be found rare specimens of anemones. 

Both the Holmes possess fortifications of great 
strength, which on the Flat Holme are en baebettb 
and not observable from the sea. The batteries are 
manned by a complement of one hundred officers and 
men of the Eoyal Artillery, and in conjunction with 
the batteries of the English and Welsh Coasts form 
an impassable chain of defences to the upper reaches 
of the Bristol Channel. A small priory once stood 
on the site of the present fort of the Steep Holme. 

The Holmes in ancient times were known in the 
British tongue as " Ynysoedd yr Echni," and it is 
upon record that they were the favourite resort of the 
famous early ecclesiastics of the British Church, 
such as Cadoc and Hltyd. Cadoc of Llancarfan is 
said to have regularly passed the season of Lent with 
his monastic brethren on the island. 

Barry Island is supposed to have derived its name 
from Baruch, a saintly monk of the Ancient British 
Monastery of Llancarvan. He is said to have died 
here in the year 700 a.d. The island gives its name 
to the family of Giraldus de Barri. It is recorded 
that William di Barri, an ancestor of Giraldus, 
became possessed of it by marriage to a Welsh 
heiress. Giraldus, in his Itinerary, of 1188, a.d, 
wrote: — 

** In a rock of the island of Barry, in Glamor- 
ganshire, there is a narrow chink or cleft, to 
which if you put your ear, you shall perceive 

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all such sort of noises as you may fancy 
smiths at work under ground; strokes of 
hammers, blowing of bellows, grinding of 
tools. The opinion as to how these are pro- 
duced is that there are fairies or spirits of the 

C/w s^^^^ 


mountains incessantly employed hammering 
on the brazen wall, intended by the prophet 
Merlin for a perpetual defence of Britain, 
who after employing them in this important 
work, carelessly inattentive to the great 
undertaking he had in hand, and being too 
much enamoured with a celebrated beauty, 
the great enchanter became the slave of a 
more powerful enchantress. Decoyed by the 
irresistible charms of the lady of the lake, he 
was sentenced to perpetual confinement. The 

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poor fais or fairies, therefore, are doomed by 
the laws of magic to continue their unavailing 
labour till the prophet shall regain his power 
and his freedom. 

What truth there may be in this old tradition of 
the Mediaeval Ages we know not, but the fanciful 
cleft in the rock has proved a poser to antiquaries, 
and has been found impossible to properly locate. 
Mr. John Storrie tells us that Giraldus dearly loved 
to brag of his family and his possessions, and seems 
tij have coolly appropriated the '* Blowhole " of 
Worms Head, or, as it is called by the natives, the 
Rhossili Barometer as belonging to Barry Island. 
Camden has, however, perpetuated the tradition in 
his voluminous work as peculiar to this island. The 
** Holy Well " on NelFs Point, near the southern end 
of the island, was a popular resort of the women in 
olden times, who washed their eyes in the supposed 
holy water, and then dropped in a pin as a votive 

SURFACE.— The surface of Glamorganshire 
divides itself naturally into two parts, the hilly or 
mountainous north, and the undulating south. Be- 
tween the upper courses of the Rhymni and Nedd the 
county is of a mountainous character, and is known 
as Blaenau Morganwg. Here the coal, ironworks, 
and other industrial mining pursuits are carried on, 
which have made it the most populous of all the 
Welsh counties. The southern portion of the county 
is of an undulating and comparatively level char- 
acter, being designated from time immemorial by 
the inappropriate name of/' Y Fro," i.e., " The Vale 

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of Glamorgan," although there is no vale of com- 
manding extent which seems to have originated 
the appellation. This territory is bounded on the 
east by the river Ehymni, and on the west by the 
river Ogwr ; it comprises a stretch of country twenty 
miles in length from Roath, near Cardiff, to 
Bridgend, with a breadth of ten miles from the 
Severn Sea, near Llanilltyd Fawr, to Llanharran 
in the centre. 

The western portion of the county called 
Gower, consists of a peninsula, wild and separate, 
bounded on the north and west by the Burry 
Inlet, and on the south by the Bristol Channel. 
It is about twenty miles long, by about seven 
miles broad, and in circumference measures 
«ome fifty miles. The peninsula is traversed by an 
elevated ridge, Cefn-y-Bryn, running diagonally 
across it due east and west, at a height of 600 feet, 
and commanding a glorious prospect of the coasts of 
Caermarthen and Pembroke, with a panoramic view 
of the Bristol Channel and the '* Vale of Glamor- 
gan." The interior of this peninsula is tame and 
uninteresting, through the absence of streams and 
sheltered valleys, and has only one district within 
it which lays claim to industries of any kind, viz., 
Penclawdd. Notwithstanding this, the peninsula 
boasts of a sufficient number of interesting centres, 
and places of charming picturesqueness which will 
well repay the trouble of a good tramp. To the lover 
of the picturesque, there can be nothing more 
majestic than the deeply indented coast on the south 
vand west, with its beetling bluffs, retiring creeks. 

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and sheltered crescent-shaped sanded bays, with 
their sunny woodland slopes. 

" But THE HILLS are the part of Glamorganshire 
which exercises the strongest fascination over 
the mind. Only a few years ago, the most 
silent and deserted, most destitute of attrac- 
tion, most forbidding in aspect, and unknown 
to the common world of any part of the Prin- 
cipality, they have almost suddenly become 
the cynosure of all lands, the focus of teeming 
multitudes, the very workshop of Vulcan and 
all his kin ; where the nature- of man is almost 
changed Into that of a dweller underground 
and fire-eater, and the bowels of the earth are 
torn out to be made into rails and fuel for 
half the civilized world. All the creation of 
classic poets respecting Acheron and Cocy- 
tus, the forges of Vulcan, and the deep abodes 
of Pluto are here infinitely surpassed in 
sternest reality, and a picture is laid before 
us of desolation and chaos, scientific and 
mechanical achievement, squalor, filth, moral 
degradation, all-devouring rage for gain, and 
withal heroic Christian contest with evil, 
such as the light of the sun has seldom made 
visible." (ISicholas' " Glamorganshire.") 

MOUNTAINS AND HILLS. —The mountains 
extend in chains for the most part, having a direc- 
tion due north and south, and are separated by the 
deep and broken valleys through which the prin- 
cipal rivers and streams of the county wind their 

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courses to the Bristol Channel. The mountains of the 
northern districts of the county attain to heights of 
considerable elevation, and in many parts resemble 
the elevations of the highlands of North Wales, with 
their picturesque and bleak Alpine aspect. 

Starting at the eastern portion of the county we 
have the ridge known as Cefn Gelligaer with Carn 
Bugail 1,674 feet high. 

Cefn Merthyr, 1,483ft., and Mynydd Eglwy- 
silan, between the valleys of the Ehymni and 
Taff rivers. 

Mynydd Aberdare, with Carn-Tylechu 1,607ft., 
Mynydd Merthyr, with Carn-Disgwylfa 
1,619ft., between the valleys of the Taff and 
the Cynon. 

Cefn Ehosgwawr, Mynydd y Ffaldau, Twyn y 
Briddallt 1,489ft., Cefn Gwyngul, 1,142ft., 
between the valleys of the Cynon and Rhon- 
dda Fach. 

Mynydd Ystrad-Ffernal, Mynydd Tynewydd 
with Cam Bica 1,692ft., Cefn y Rhondda 
with Mynydd yr Eglwys 1,600ft., Mynydd 
Ty'n T^le 1,419ft., and Cefn Pen Rhys 
1,071ft., between the valleys of Rhondda 
Fach and Rhondda Fawr. 

Craig y Llyn 1,969ft., with Cam Fach, Cam 
Moesyn 1,921ft., Cam-coch, Mynydd Blaen 
Rhondda, Cefn Nanty gwair, Cefn Tylebrych 
1,766ft., Bryn Llynwynddwr, Mynydd Tyisaf, 
Mynydd Tyle-coch 1,687ft., Graig Fawr, 
Craig Ogwr, Mynydd Maendy, Mynydd Ton, 
Mynydd BwUfa, Mynydd Wm. Meyrick 

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1,769ft., Mynydd Pwll yr hebog, Mynydd 
Llangeinor, with Cam-yr-Hjrddod 1,602ft., 
Cnig yr Avan 1,766ft., between the valleys of 
Rhondda Pawr and the Convg, Afan, Xant- 
moel, and Garw. 

Cefn Mawr. Cefn Crug with Moel yr Hyrddod 
1,560ft., Mynydd Xant-y-bar 1,283ft., Cefn 
Morfydd 1,000ft., between Corwg and Xedd. 

Mynydd Resolven, Mynydd Bach in Llangyn- 
wyd Higher, 1,412ft., Moel Gwilym Hyw^el 
1,376ft., Mynydd y Caerau, between Garw 
and Llynfi. 

Cefn Hir-fynydd, with Graig Llwyd and Pen y 
i3igwn, between Xeda and Dulais. 

Mynydd March Hywel and Mynydd y 
Drummau, between Dulais and Tawe. 

Cefn Gwrhyd, Garth, Mynydd Maen Coch, 
Mynydd-y-Gwair, Mynydd Gam Fach, with 
Cefn-liw, Cefn Drim, and Graig, between the 
Tawe and Llwchwr. 

Malkin, in his Tours at the close of the 18th cen- 
tury, in speaking of the mountains of Glamorgan, 
says: — 

" Its mountains are not so high as those of 
Breconshire, but they present in a greater 
degree the appearance of Merionethshire by 
their extreme abruptness, which imparts an 
air of wildness to the country, and of eleva- 
tion extending the reality to them. The 
parish of Ystradyfodwg exhibits such scenes 
of untouched nature as the imagination 
would find it difficult to express. These moun- 

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tains are not improperly termed the Alps of 
Glamorganshire, where the rocks and hills 
are bold and more fantastical in their appear- 
ance than in any other part of the cotintry, 
while the sides of many are clothed with an 
inexhaustible opulence of wood." 

RIVERS.— Glamorganshire is a remarkably well- 
watered county. The highlands being in the north 
of the county, the rivers invariably take a nearly 
direct southerly course. None of the streams are of 
great length ; but in times before the present era of 
industrial development they were remarkable for 
their picturesque beauty. Malkin, in 1803, speaks of 
them as ** the highly picturesque rivers, which con- 
stitute the great beauty of the county." Drayton, in 
his " Polyolbion," Song iv., enumerates them as. 
follows: — 

" That Beznny when she saw these gallant nympha of Qwent, 
On thia appointed match were all so hotly bent, 
Where she of ancient time had parted, as a mound, 
The Monumethian fields, and Glamorganian ground, 
Intreats the Taff along, as gray as any glass; 
With whom clear Cunno comes, a iusiy Cambrian laes; 
Then Eley, and with her Ew«nny holds her way. 
And Ogmore that would y«t be there as soon as they. 
By Avon called in; when nimbkr Neath anon, 
(To all the neighbouring nymphs for her rare beauties known ; 
Besides her double head, to keep her stream that hath 
Her handmaids Melta sweet, clear Hepsey and Tragarth) 
From Brecknock forth doth break; then Dulas and Cledaugh 
By Morgany do drive her through her watery saugh; 
With Tawy taking part t'aesist the Cambrian power; 
Then Liu and Logor, given to strengthen them by Gower." 

The river courses have been stripped of their pris- 
tine beauty by me exigencies of industrial enter- 
prise, and the well- wooded banks have given way to 
the demands for workmen's cottages and the exten- 

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sion of numberless great works of every kind in all 
of the valleys. These are now the abode of teeming 
multitudes, w^ho turn out from the interior of the 
earth the rich stores of mineral wealth which have 
made the Glamorgan coalfield the " cynosure of all 
lands." " Those who know the banks of the Tafif, the 
two Rhonddas, and the Cynon, the wilds of Aberdare 
and Ystradyfodwg have seen such woods and groves 
as are rarely to be found. The magnificently clothed 
hills of Margam, Baglan, Briton .b'erry, and the Vale 
of Neath unite the beauties of cultivation with the 
unfelled luxuriance of forest scenery " (Malkin). 

THE BIVEB TAFF. — The chief river of Glamor- 
gan is the Taff, 33 miles long, which rises in one of 
the spurs of the Brecknock Beacons known as Rhiw- 
yr-Ysgyfarnog. It emanates by two sources, form- 
ing two separate streams, known as Taf Fawr and 
Taf Fechan. The Taf Fawr rises on the western 
slope of Rhiw-yr-Ysgyfarnog in a peaty portion of 
the mountain near Taf arn-y-mynydd, whilst the Taf 
Fechan rises on the eastern slope of this same ridge. 
The Taf Fawr in its upper course has been diverted 
into the large reservoir of the Cardiff Corporation at 
Nantddu, whilst the Taf Fechan is similiarly em- 
ployed in feeding the Pentwyn Reservoir, otherwise 
known as the Dolygaer Lake, which is the water sup- 
ply for Merthyr Tydfil. These two streams unite just 
below the village of Coed y Cymmer, which derives 
its name from the woods and the confluence, and then 
leave Brecknockshire to enter Glamorganshire. Just 
opposite the junction of the two streams, on the left 
hand, stands Cyfarthfa Castle, at one time the seat 

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'of the Crawshay family. The castle stands in exten- 
sive and well-wooded grounds, which afford an 
agreeable and striking contrast to the grimy scenes 
of industry in close proximity to them. 

The Taf Fawr at the village of Coed y Cymmer 
passes under the Brecon and Merthyr xtailway via- 
duct of sixteen arches, which was erected in 1862 at 
a cost of £26,000. 






The Taff pursues its course for about two miles to 
Merthyr Tydfil, where it receives the contributory 
stream, the Morlais. A mile below the town and 
near to the Plymouth works it receives the Nanty- 
BWCH. A little lower down, it further receives the 
Nantcanaid, and then passes the mining villages of 
Abercanaid, Troedyrhiw, Merthyr Vale, Treharris, 
and Quakers Yard. At the latter village it receives the 
Babood Fawb, a mountain stream rising on the 
Gelligaer Common, and which constitutes the boun- 
dary line between the parishes of Merthyr Tydfil and 

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Gelligaer. Lower down, the Taff is joined by the 
Cynon, which rises on the slopes of Mynyddy Q-log, 
in the parish of Penderyn, in Brecknockshire. It 
flows through what is now called the Aberdare 
Valley by the town of Aberdare and the thriving 
industrial centres of Mountain Ash and Penrhiw- 
ceiber to join the parent stream at Abercynon, after 
having been supplemented by the Dar and Amman. 

The Taff proceeds on its course to Pontypridd by 
the mining village of Cilfynydd. Before arriving at 
Pontypridd it receives Nant Cydudwg from Llan- 


fabon. At Pontypridd it is joined by the united 
streams of the two Rhonddas. The Ehondda Fawr, 
formed by the union of several smaller streams, rises 
in the mountains of Blaen Ehondda and flows by 
Treherbert, Treorchy, Ystrad, • Llwynypia, Tony- 
pandy, and Porth, where it is joined by the 
Ehondda Fach, which traverses the Ferndale Valley 
and forms the boundary between the parishes of 

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Llanwyno and Ystradyfodwg. The united stream 
of the two Rhonddas then proceeds by Hafod and 
Gyfeillion, and joins the Taff on the right bank at 
the town of Pontypridd. About a quarter of a mile 
above the junction of the Rhondda and TaJBF may be 
seen the famous one-arch bridge erected by William 
Edwards in 1752. 

The Taff from this town pursues its course in a 
southerly direction by Treforest, which in years gone 


by was famous for its tin and chain works. Passing 
Nantgarw about five miles below, celebrated for the 
once famous Nantgarw pottery, it arrives at Taff's 
Well, or, as it is known in the vernacular, ** Ffynon 
Taf," which possesses the only mineral spring of note 
in the county. The water is of a tepid character, and 
is reputed to cure various rheumatic complaints. 

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At Taff's Well is the celebrated Castell Coch, the 
famous citadel of Ivor Bach, the Welsh chieftain 
who captured and imprisoned William, Earl of 
Gloucester and Lord of Glamorgan. Then the river 
winds its course by Radyr and the ancient City of 
Llandaff, with its beautifully restored *' Church of 
Teilo," or Cathedral Church of the diocese of that 
name, to the rapidly increasing Metropolis of Wales 
— Cardiff. It then enters the estuary of the Severn 
at the small bay of Penarth. 

THE RHTMNI RIVEB rises in Carn-yr-helyg, 
within the County of Brecknock. A little way 
removed from its source is the romantic 
spot, rich in traditional lore known as 
Rhyd-y-milwj^r. At this place may be seen 
impressed in the rock an unusually large 
number of holes, having the appearance of footprints 
of sheep, oxen, mules, and horses. Three miles from 
its source it enters Glamorganshire at Rhymney ' 
Bridge (Pont Llechryd), and from that point to the 
sea it constitutes the boundary between the counties 
of Glamorgan and Monmouth, passing in its course 
the industrial centres of Rhymney, Pontlottyn, Aber- 
tysswg, Tir Phil, New Tredegar, Brithdir, and 
Bargoed; then by Hengoed, Ystradmynach, and 
Llanbradach, recently sprung into existence, but 
now a mining village of considerable proportions. 
Leaving Caerphilly with its towering castle in the 
distance on the right, it proceeds by Machen, and 
skirts the grounds of Ruperra Castle. Arriving at 
the little hamlet of Michaelstone-y-Fedw, it then 
winds its way by the ancient domains 

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and castellated mansion of Cefn Mably, 
famous as the home of the Kemys family. 
It then proceeds through the flat, alluvial 
tract which lies to the east of Cardiff, and emptielB 


itself into the Severn Estuary. The tributaries of 
the Rhymni in Glamorganshire are the following: — 
Bargod Pack, Nant Pengam, Nant y Cylla, Y 
Tbidwr, Nant y Gledyr, and Nant Dulas. 

THE ELY BIVEB rises in the hills to the north of 
Tonyref ail, and flows by Llantrisant, Pontclun, then 
by the ancient castle of Hensol and the baronial resi- 
dence of Meisgun, to arrive at the famous Castle of 
3t. Fagan's, and then to empty itself into Penarth 
Bay. Its feeders are Nant AIuchedd, and Afon 

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Clun, on the .left bank ; the latter receives the Nant 
Dowlas and Nant y Cesail. 

The DAW, or Ddawen, rises in the neighbourhood 
of the village of Llanharry, and with a winding 
course passes through the town of Ck)wbridge, the 
village of Llandough (Llandochwy), by the ruins of 
Beaupre Castle, across Flemingston Moor, to enter 
the sea at Aberthaw. It is fed by a small stream, the 
Cenfon, or Kenson, upon which stands Fonriion 
Castle; this tributary joins the Ddawen on the left 
ban±c about a mile above Aberthaw. The Cenfon 
passes through Llancarfan, celebrated for its monas- 
tery of ancient times, and which is the reputed birth- 
place of Caradoc, the monk of that monastery, who is 
the author of the Brut, a Welsh Chronicle which 
bears his name. Fonmon Castle was a Norman 
structure, erected by Sir Oliver St. John, one of Fitz- 
hamon's twelve knights, who was given as his share 
of the spoils of Glamorgan, fhe lordship of Fonmon. 

THE OGWR, or Ogmore River, has its source in 
Graig Ogwr, a spur of the ridge which separates the 
valley of the Ogwr from that of the Rhondda. After 
a course of about seven miles it arrives at Blackmill, 
where it receives the Ogwb Fach from Gilf ach Goch 
on the left bank. Three miles below Blackmill it 
receives on the right bank the wild rushing stream 
of the Garw, which rises in the spur of Mynydd-y- 
Caerau, known as Blaengarw. At Tondu (Ton-Ithel- 
ddu) the Ogwr is joined by the Llynfi, which rises 
on the western slopep of Mynydd-y-Caerau, and 
passes through the industrial centres of Spelter, 
Nantyffyllon, Maesteg, Garth, Llangynwyd, famous 

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for their coal, tin, and steel works. Leaving Tondu, 
with its large iron and steel works, the Og\*T^ ^inds 
its way by the Glamorgan County As>ium to Bridg- 
end, leaving the famous 0>ity Castle two miles to the 
east, a castle which came into the hands of Pain 
Turber\'ille. one of Fitzhamon's knights, in the 11th 
Centurj', in other fashion than by conquest. Before 
entering the Bristol Channel opposite the Tusker 
Rocks, the Ogwr receives the Ewexkt (E\syn-wy: 
frothy watery a tributary- stream from near Llan- 
trisant. which flows by the ancient monaster}^ of 
Ewenny, an establishment of British origin, re- 
founded in 1141 A.D. by Maurice de Londres, Lord of 

THE KEHFIO is a small river, but great in its his- 
torical connections. It rises in Moel-Ton-mawr, on 
the outskirts of Margam Park, which is famous for 
the celebrated Abbey of ver}' ancient date situated 
within its borders. The Kenfig flows to the sea 
thnmgh the flats of the Margam Burrows, passing 
in its course the ancient corporate town of Kenfig, 
with its once fairious castle of Fitzhamon renown: 
but previous to Norman times a stately British Royal 
residence. In the town of Kenfig we have an example 
of a " Welsh Pompeii," the old City of Kenfig, old 
enough to have sent men to the \\ ars of the Cross in 
the early mediaeval ages, but swallowed up 300 years 
igo by the great " sand-devil " of these coasts. Near 
the river mouth is Kenfig Pool, a lake of some con- 
siderable extent, situated in the midst of weird naked 
sands. It is reputed to have never been fathomed. 
Here we are told that a walled city has been 

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engulfed, and a few generations ago it was cus- 
tomary for the inhabitants to retail for the benefit of 
the superstitious and credible stranger that the tops 
of the houses and the turrets of the public buildings 
were to be seen upon a still and calm day in the 
water depths. 

RIVER AVAN rises on Crug-yr-Avan, in Mynydd 
Llangeinwyr, at a height of 1,736 feet. It flows due 
west for the first few miles of its course, and at 
Cyinmer receives the tributary stream of the Corwg, 
which rises in the ridge known as Garn Moesyn. 
The Avan then proceeds by Pontrhydyfen, Cwm- 
avan, to Port Talbot, where it empties itself into the 
Bristol Channel. The other tributary streams are 
the Pelena, on the right bank, and the Dyfpryn on 
the left bank. 

RIVER NEDD (troellog), or Neath, has its source 
in the Fforest Fawr Mountains of Brecknockshire, in 
the ridge designated Van Nedd, at an elevation of 
2,177 feet. It is formed by the union of several 
streams, viz., the Llia, Dbegarth, Pyrddin or Pur- 
DDiN, Mellte or Melltwy, and Hepste. The 
Pyrddin descends over a steep rock 85 feet high, 
forming a grand waterfall which is called Scwd 
Einion Gam. After having first joined the Nedd 
Fechan it further maKes a leap over a rock 46 feet 
high, and forms a lovely waterfall, bearing the 
resemblance of a " silken veil." In the year 1850, 
when the Vale of Neath railway was in construction, 
some of the navvies in a frolicsome feat destroyed the 
famous rocking stone, 20 tons weight, which lay in 
the course of the river. So true was this huge stone 

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on its pivot that it rocked violently by being gently 
pushed with the little finger. In the " Freeman's 
Journal '* of May, 1850, there appeared the following 
notice: — 


' The Scwd Wladis Rocking or Logan Stone. 
— On Sunday, the 28th ult., a number of 
* navvies ' who are now employed on the Vale 
of Neath Railway wantonly overturned, by 
means of levers, the well-known Logan or 
Rocking Stone, which was situate near Scwd 

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Wladis Waterfall. The stone, which is sup- 
posed to weigh about 20 tons, was balanced 
so nicely that the merest touch only was 
required to shake it. This huge stone, being a 
memorial of the past and ' as old as the hills,' 
was highly prized, nay, almost venerated by 
the natives of this picturesque portion of the 
country, and was also a great attraction to 

The Mellte has three beautiful cataracts in its 
short course, known as the Glyngwn Uchaf, Canol, 


and Isaf . This stream flows through a natural cave 
known as the Porthmawr, the mouth of which is 43 
feet high, by 19 feet wide. It diminishes in circuit 
as it proceeds inwards. 

The Hepste is likewise characterised by two 
lovely cataracts, the one, Scwd yr Eirwy, being more 

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of a waterfall, descending over a rock 50 feet in 
height, under which it is possible to pass without 
suffering discomfort from the spray. The second 
cataract is about 300 yards in length, over which the 
waters rush helter-skelter in a sea of foam. 

These contributory streams unite at Pontnedd- 
fechan, and from here to the sea the river bears the 
name Nedd, and passes through one of the most pic- 
tures(|ue and lovely valleys in the whole countrj\ 
by the industrial centres of Glyn Neath, Eesolven, 
and Aberdulais, where it is joined by the Dulais 
from Bryn Dulais, a spur of Mynydd Drum, near 
Seven Sisters. It then proceeds by the town of 
Neath, and immediately after leaving this busy 
town, it receives the Clydach. Then it flows by 
Briton Ferry and enters Swansea Bay by a wide 

THE TAWE rises near Moelfeudy, on the southern 
slope of the Fforest Fawr or Black Mountains, in 
Brecknockshire. It enters Glamorganshire at 
Ystradgynlais, after having wended its way by 
Craig-y-Nos Castle, the beautiful castellated mansion 
of Baroness Cederstrom (Madame Patti), a little 
higher up the valley. Before leaving Brecknock- 
shire It receives Nant-Llech, which is famous for a 
lovely fall 100 feet ^high. Near Ystradgynlais it 
receives the waters of the impetuous Twrch and the 
GiEDD, and then proceeds through Ystalyfera, Pon- 
tardawe, Clydach, Morriston, Landore, Swansea 
Town, to enter Swansea Bay by a wide estuary, 
which admits of ships of the largest tonnage. At Pont- 
ardawe the Tawe is joined by the contributary 

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stream, the Upper Clydach on the right bank, and 
at the distance of three miles below it is further aug- 
mented by the Lower Clydach. These two streams 
bear a very romantic character. 

THE LLWCHWR, or Loughor, which forms ihe 
western boundary of the county, rises in the parish 
of Llandeilo Fawr, in Caermarthenshire. It is 
generally supposed to derive a part of its water sup- 
ply b}'^ a subterranean passage from a lake near the 
Caermarthenshire Van, and that the name is trace- 
able to this circumstance — Llwch-ddwr (lake water). 
After a course of a few miles in a southerly direction 
it receives the Amman from the north-east, which has 
its source in a spur of the Black Mountains, and then 
for a part of its course forms a portion of the 
boundary between Glamorgan and Caermarthen on 
the north-west. Though the Amman is the larger 
stream, it loses its significance and name upon its 
junction with the Llwchwr at PantyfFynon. It also 
receives the Dulais at Pontarddulais, and the Gwili 
Fach at Llandeilo-Talybont, both Caermarthenshire 
streams, and then proceeds on its way to discharge 
itself into Caermarthen Bay by a wide estuary, desig- 
nated the Burry Eiver Inlet. 

SOIL, AORICULTURE, &c. — The county divides 
itseii, naturally, into the hilly region of the north, 
intersected by the valleys through which the Taff, 
the Ogwr, the Nedd, and the Tawe flow; the 
undulating surface of the southern region ; and the 
mountainous peninsula of Gower in the west. The 
hills consist for the greater part of very poor mih 

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being composed of black peat, which is varied in 
some of the drier portions by a brown gravelly 
earth. They are, as a rule, unenclosed, and are 
utilised for the rearing of sheep, and in some places, 
cattle. The tenants of the farms adjoining the hills 
are prrv'ileged with the customary- common rights as 
to stocking the hills with sheep without limit. 

The valleys, in times within the memorj' of the 
middle-aged inhabitants of the present day, i.e., 
before the days of coal-mining and manufactures 
dawned, in which nature has boon stripped of her 


external garb for the satisfying of man's greed for 
the wealth underlying her surface, consisted of a 
brown and fertile loam, well suited for all the pur- 
poses of husbandry and agriculture, and which 
yielded crops of all kinds of corn and grass in 

The southern part of the county from the banks 
of the Rhymni to those of the Nedd, and from the 
lower confines of the hilly region to the Bristol 
Channel, usually designated " The Vale of Gla- 
morgan/' consists of a rich deep loam, very much 
enriched in quality by a substratum of limestone. 

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Much of the land in the Gower Peninsula is un- 
enclosed, and on the north-east the character of the 
soil is poor and unyielding, but it has a substratum 
of coal of considerable value. 

The produce of the soil is the usual cereal and 
root-crops, such as wheat, oats, barley, beans, 


POTATOES, with the artificial grasses, clover, 


In Truman's M.S., preserved in William's " Mon- 
mouthshire," we have it recorded that Rhys ab Arth- 


fael, a British prince of Glamorgan, subsequent to 
Morgan Mwynfawr, " obliged everyone that had 
lands in the Vale to sow com in the one half of it ; 
and everyone that had lands in the mountains, to sow 
corn in a quarter of it ; and that all land that was 
neither com nor grazed by cattle should be forfeited 
to the King, except it was wood and forest, according 

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to the limits of the law. This law caused such a 
great plenty of corn and cattle in Glamorgan that it 
came to be called the ' Lady of the Countries,' so 
fruitful was it then reckoned." 

The horned cattle of Glamorganshire are of a 
superior kind, being of medium size, handsome of 
build, and of a fine brown colour. Their milk is 
rich in quality, and is yielded in large quantities. 

The hilly districts have always produced an 
abundance of oak, ash, beech, larch, and other of the 
common forest trees; but within recent years these 
have been ruthlessly cut down in the valleys for the 
purpose of pitwood, and for the clearance of spaces 
to erect workmen's cottages thereon for the teeming 
populations of the mining and industrial centres. 
Malkin, in writing of the trees of the county in 1803, 
states: — *' The elm appears to be a native, and is 
everywhere seen springing up spontaneously in the 
hedges and copses, especially between Cowbridge 
and the sea. It is not observed to be of indigenous 
growth in any other part of Wales, where it is only 
planted by art in gentlemen's parks. It bears the 
sea air much better than any of the timber trees, 
unless we except the sycamore, which may be added 
to the natives. Next to these, the ash is least affected 
by a marine exposure. Of exotics, the Scots fir, 
plane, larch, and some others, grow well in the sea- 

The same author, in referring to the cottages of 
the county, states facts which are equally applicable 
to their appearance in the rural distritjte «af the 
present day. " There is no part of England," says 

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he, "where the general appearance of the cottages 
is more neat and respectable than in Glamorgan- 
shire, and those of them which are ancient Gothic — 
and they abound in every direction — carry with 
them the recommendation of a venerable exterior, 
and a portion of internal room, comfort, and 
security from the elements, rarely enjoyed by their 
fellows in any part of the world. 

** Another circumstance which adds to the respect- 
able appearance of the cottages is the universal 
practice of whitening them, which gives a peculiar 
neatness and gaiety to the villages, though their 
uniform glare is perhaps a little too dazzling for the 
eye. This has been the custom of the country from 
very remote ages, and is extended even to the barns 
and the stables, to the walls of yards and gardens." 

The famous old Antiquary, lolo Morganwg, in 
1794, makes mention of this custom. He says: — 
'* It has, from very remote antiquity, been the 
custom in Glamorgan to whitewash the houses, not 
only the inside, but the outside also; and even the 
bams, stables, walls of yards, gardens, &c. In a 
very ancient poem, by some attributed to Aneurin, 
who lived about the year 560 a.d., we have tJie 
following passage: — 

** G-wnawd ym Morganwg ddiwyg dynion, 
A gwraeedd mewn mawredd, a muriau gwynion," 

** In Glamorgan the people are courteous and gentle, 
Married women are honoured, and the walls are white." 

Dafydd ab Gwilym, the famous bard of the early 
Welsh Eenaissance of the Middle Ages, who 
flourished in the 14th Century, sings of Glamorgan : 

" 'E gar bardd y wlad hardd honn, 
A'i gwihoedd a'i thai gwynion." 

" The bard loves this beautiful country, 
lie wines, and its white houses." 


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In his " Invocation to the Sun " he sings; — 

"Tesog fore, gwna*r Ue'n llonn, 

A« annerch y tai swynion." 
" Thou son of the bright morn, make joy abound. 

And salute the white houses of Glamorgan." 

Deio ab leuan Ddu, a bard who flourished in the 
16th Centuiy, says: — 

*' Moisganwg muriau gwjrnion." 
" Glamorgan of the white walls." 

CLIMATE. — ^The county having such an exten- 
sive line of seaboard, enjoys, on the whole, a mild 
and equable climate. The direction of the prevail- 
ing winds lie between westerly and south-westerly. 
They blow more or less from the west in the ratio of 
4: 3 from the east. Much more rain, consequently, 
falls in the hilly regions and in the valleys than in 
the undulating southerly parts, for the hills attract 
the masses of vapour; these parts enjoy an average 
rainfall of fifty to sixty inches. The rainfall in the 
upper part of the Rhondda Valley, on either side of 
Penpych Mountain, shares the distinction with a 
district of Merionethshire in North Wales of having 
the heaviest rainfall in Wales. This district reaches 
the high average of 80 inches. At the Taf Fawr 
Reservoir, in Breconshire, the average rainfall is 74 
inches. During the wet year of 1891 the rainfall 
at Penpych was 108 inches, whilst at the Taf Fawr 
Reservoir it was 101 inches. At Cardiff the average 
rainfall is 37 inches, whilst at Neath the average 
reaches 47 inches. 

The winters in the hilly districts are generally 
very cold; frost is frequent, but not of lon'g con- 
tinuance. The heat in summer in these parts, on 
the other hand, is great ; the thermometer in the sun 

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often registering 108 deg. Fahr., whilst in the shade 
it attains to 84 deg. Fahr. The average temperature 
for the county is BO deg. Fahr. ; the average summer 
temperature being 62 deg. Fahr., and the average 
winter temperature being 38 deg. Fahr. Thus there 
is a variation of only 12 deg. above and below the 
average. The reason for this is that there is a con- 
stant drift of water from the Gulf Stream of the 
Atlantic towards our shores, mainly caused by the 
south-westerly winds. 

The south and south-east districts of the county 
are warmer than the districts of the south- 
west. The climate of the Vale of Glamorgan is so 
mild and salubrious that fuchsias, magnolias, 
myrtles, and other exotic plants are frequently 
grown in the open air, and are not under the 
necessity of being housed in winter. 

eigths of Glamorganshire is composed of the car- 
boniferous or coal-bearing rock. A line drawn 
from Machen in the east of the county, through 
Caerphilly, Castell Coch, Llantrisant, Bridgend to 
Kenfig, then round the shores of Swansea Bay by 
Briton Ferry, Neath, and Swansea to the Mumbles 
will mark the southern limits of the Carboniferous 
System. The strata in the Gower peninsula lies to 
the north of a direct line drawn from the 
Mumbles to Llanmadoc on the Burry Estuary, 
leaving the ridge of Cefn y Bryn to the south-west 
of it. All to the north of the above line of demarca- 
tion, as far as Llandebie and the Van Mountains in 
Caermarthenshire, is coal-bearing. 

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Below the coal-bearing rocks is the carboniferous 
limestone, which invariably accompanies the coal 
measures, and may be found making its appearance 
as a border on the outer limits of the coal basin. 

Cropping up between the coal measures and the 
carboniferous limestone we find the millstone grit, 


a hard siliceous -rock which is employed in fhn 
manufacture of fire bricks for lining smelting fur- 
naces and other fire-resisting apparatus. 

Under the carboniferous limestone we find the old 
Red Sandstone formation, which constitutes the 
greater part of the surface of Brecknockshire and 
Monmouthshire. It may be seen near Bridgend, on 

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the shore near Kenfig, and in the Gower peninsula, 
where it constitutes the backbone of Cefn-y-Bryn 

The latest and newest strata in the Glamorgan 
series of rocks is the Lias. This forms nearly the 
whole of the undulating district of the county 
between Cardiff and the estuary of the Ogwr. It 
may be plainly seen in the face of the cliffs from 
Penarth Point to Nash Point near St. Donat's Castle. 

The entire South Wales coalfield is estimated to 
measure superficially about 1,000 square miles ; and 
of this Glamorganshire claims about B20 square 
miles. Geologists calculate that the coal basin in 
certain districts reaches a depth of 3,400 yards, of 
which from two to three thousa^ci yards lie below 
the level of the sea. The deepeiat .part of th^ strata 
is in the Swaftisea and Neath disti^cts. The^Morfa 
Pits on the Aberavon Burrows have' been sunk and 
worked by Messrs. Vivian and Company, 'partly 
below the low-water level of Swansea Bay, and con- 
sequently beneath its waters. The coal ground of 
highest elevation in South Wales is Carn Moesyn, 
above Y Llyn Fawr, and about five miles from Hir- 
waun; its elevation is 1,971 feet above sea-level. 

Hull, in his " Coalfields of Great Britain." says: 
** The South Wales coal measures are probably up- 
wards of 10,000 feet thick, containing 84 feet of 
workable coal, distributed through 2B seams of two 
feet thick and upwards; but it must be borne in 
mind that the same seams are found to vary in thick- 
ness to a very great extent in different parts of this 
extensive district." 

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The coal seams of South Wales as they spread out 
to the north-west partake of the anthracite char- 
acter, whereas towards the east they become of a 
more bituminous nature. In the Merthyr, Aberdare, 
the Rhondda, and Ogwr Valleys the chemical con- 
stituents of the coal seem to blend in the proportion 
best suited for marine purposes, and it is most valued 
for ocean steamers because of its capacity for pro- 
ducing great heat; it is smokeless, and is called 
*' Steam Coal," consequently is in the greatest 


demand by the Admiralty. At the present time the 
South Wales steg;m coal is used by all the great 
Transatlantic steam companies, both English and 
Foreign. It is generally conveyed to the coaling 
depots of the ocean liners that ply on the Pacific ; it 
is used by the liners which carry the West India 
mails; by those, also, which leave Southampton for 
Marseilles and Brindisi for Suez, India, and 
Australia. It is used on the rivers of India, China, 

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and in every part of the world where steam is 
employed. It has secured a place for itself on the 
Admiralty lists of all the Great Powers of Europe, 
and. is, therefoi;e, in great requisition by the Govern- 
ments of the smaller Kingdoms of Europe because of 
its .adoption by the larger and older States. 

The coal of the western portion of the Glamorgan 
area, i.e., from Margam to the Burrj'' Estuary, is of 
a binding quality, and is of the highly bituminous 
kind in the south crop of the Neath and Swansea 
districts. In the north of these same districts the 
coal becomes purely anthracite in character, and 
extends to the western limits of the coalfield into 
Caermarthenshire. There has been a greater 
demand for this kind of coal within recent years on 
account of its smokeless quality, its great heat, and 
its comparatively little ash. 

The Limestone differs much in quality in dif- 
ferent parts, some kinds being well adapted for 
agricultural purposes, whilst other kinds are best 
adapted for iron-smelting purposes as a flux. The 
limestone of the district from Penarth to near the 
estuary of the Ogwr is of a dark blue colour, and is 
commonly called Blue Lias. It assumes a yellowish 
hue when burnt. That of the western district from 
the Ogwr to Gower is of a dark grey colour, inclin- 
ing to blue and purple, and when burnt becomes 
perfectly white. Besides the lime found in the cal- 
careous strata, there is found between Aberthaw and 
Newton, in the coast region, a chalky substance of a 
much softer quality than the lime. 

Gypsum is found in veins, and in detached masses 
in the promontory of Penarth. 

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In the quarries at Llandough there are found 
Black Marble of a superior kind, Alabaster, and 
quantities of Puller's Earth. 

Iron Ore of the best quality is obtained in the 
north of the county, in the district extending from 
Merthyr Tydfil in the direction of the upper reaches 
of the Vale of Tawe. Dr. Nicholas, in his " History 
of Glamorgan," says: — 

" The great iron-ore district of Glamorganshire 
lies principally about Merthyr, Dowlais, and 
Aberdare, where the ironstone is found in 
seams alternating with the coal." He quotes 
the remarks of De la Beche, the great 
geologist, who says: — ** Merthyr Tydfil pre- 
sents an excellent example of the economic 
value of geological conditions, the proximity 
of the carboniferous limestone, the coal, and 
ironstone to each other in that part of the 
country, producing a cheap combination of 
flux, fuel, and ore, scarcely to be surpassed." 

Within recent years a decreasing quantity of the 
Welsh iron ore is worked. The iron ore which now 
supplies the great ironworks of Glamorgan is 
imported extensively from Spain. At Cardiff alone 
there is annually imported close upon a million tons, 
whilst Swansea imports about half that quantity. 

In the old records of the county, especially those 
referring to the Abbey of Margam, we find that the 
knowledge of the existence of the minerals in 
Glamorganshire was a well-known fact as early as 
the 13th Century. There it is recorded that a charter 
was granted by Phylip, son of William of Comely, 

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to the Abbey of Margam, giving the Abbey the claim 
or the right to all the Iron and Lead found on the 
east side of the road from Newton Nottage to 
Comely, with, power to search for mineral 
throughout all his land, and with a right 
of way for two-wheeled and four-wheeled 
carts. The rent charged was a pair of 
gloves, or a penny, as long as the mineral lasted 
and was worked, with a sum of twenty shillings as 
first payment. (Birch's " Margam Abbey," p.l92.) 

Another grant made about the same time by Owen 
ap Alayth, i.e., Owen son of Alaythur, gave the 
Abbey all the " Stony Coal " on his and his men's 
land, with ingress and egress for carts. The initial 
fee was half-a-mark paid down, with a yearly rent of 
half-a-crannoc of wheat as long as his coal was used. 
(Ibid, page 267.) 

Walter Luvel granted the Iron and Lead in his 
land, " wherever it might be found," with free in- 
gress and egress for carts, at the yearly rent of a 
coulter and a ploughshare for his plough at Easter. 
(Ibid., page 266.)) 

A coal-mine at Cefn Cribbwr is recorded to have 
been in the possession of Margam Abbey at the Dis- 
solution of Monasteries, in the time of Henry VIII. 
(Ibid, pages 362 and 366.) 

In the Charters of the town of Swansea, collected 
by Colonel C. G. Francis, we find it stated that Wil- 
liam De Breos, the Norman Lord, in 1306 a.d. " em- 
powered the tenant to dig pit coal at Byll-y-wastad, 
without the hindrance of ourselves or heirs." Where 
PwU-y-gwastad may have been, Mr. Francis does not 
■tell us. 

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MANUrACTURES. — Previous to the last ten 
decades the manufacturing industrj?^ of the county- 
was in what may be called the purely embryonic 
state. The manufactures in the early years of the 
19th Century did not number more than three or four 
of the injportant industries which njow engage tejas of 
thousands of busy artisans in all parts of South 
Wales. If we consider for a moment the stupendous 
magnitude of the trade of the county at the present 
time, which is not second to the trade of any other 
county within the confines of the British Isles, we 
can do nothing but marvel at the giant strides made 
in developing the incalculable wealth of the county, 
which lies buried in the heart of its rugged hills, ii 
century ago the only industries carried on in a 
small way, were coal-mining, copper-smelting, iron 
and tin-plate manufacture. 

Now, the county boasts of its improved methods in 
the manufacture of iron and steel, comprising pig 
and cast iron, steel bars, bolt iron, iron and steel 
rails, steel wire, armour plates, chains, anchors, 
steam-engines, winding and hauling engines, as well 
as the allied industries of galvanized sheets, tin- 
plates, copper-plates, patent fuel, fire-bricks, build- 
ing-bricks, and terra-cotta ware, sanitary pipes, 
potteries, super-phosphates, and chemical manures, 
brattice cloth and rubber goods, celluloid works, 
nickel works, alkali and arsenic works, paper mills, 
biscuit works, flour mills. 

The Manufacture of Iron and Steel is carried 
on at Merthyr Tydfil, Dowlais, Aberdare, Cardiff, 
Landore, Tondu, Maesteg, Port Talbot, Ystalyfera;, 

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Clydach (Players' Foundry), Port Tennant, Briton 
Perry, Melincryddan, and Swansea. 

The dawn of the iron age in Glamorganshire took 
place about the middle of the 18th Century, when 
those great pioneers of the iron industry, Mr. John 
Guest and Mr. Anthony Bacon, appeared on the 
scene, the former in 1760 from Staffordshire, and the 
latter in 176B from London. The former was 
engaged by one of the Lewis's of the Van, near Caer- 
philly, to act as manager of a furnace which had been 
started by him in Dowlais in 1758. Lewis was the 
owner of a small ironworks at Pentyrch, and he 
intended working the Dowlais furnace in conjunc- 
tion with that of Pentyrch, by transporting the iron 
over the brow of the hill from the former to the latter 
place, on the backs of mules. 

In the starting of a furnace, it appears 
that these old pioneers desired nothing more 
than a moderate supply of iron ore, a thick 
wood, and a good running stream. The 
utility of coal in the manufacture of iron 
had not then been discovered. " Three days a 
week," says Mr. Charles Wilkins, " the men ceased 
from iron-smelting and went out to cut wood; this 
they enjoyed heartily." 

Mr. Anthony Bacon started the Cyf arthf a furnace 
in 1765. Then came the Homfrays of Penydarran, 
and the Crawshays of Cyf arthf a, as soon as the value 
of coal for the smelting of iron had been discovered. 

The need of a good road for transporting the 
manufactured iron from Merthyr to Cardiff came to 
be soon felt: and in 1767 a road was made over the 

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ridge known as Cefn Merthyr and Mynydd Eglwy- 
silan, from Troedyrhiw to Caerphilly, and thence to 
Cardiff for shipment. 

By 1796 the Glamorganshire Canal was 
made from Cardiff to Ynyscj'non, then and 
until recently called Navigation. In 1804 steam 
power was requisitioned to convey the iron from the 
works at Merthyr to the canal, a distance of nine 
miles. Eichard Trevethick, the Cornish genius, had 
invented what he called a "high pressure tram 
engine," and this was put upon its trial trip from the 
Penydarran Works on the 12th February, 1804. In 
connection with this trial trip a wager was entered 
into between Mr. Samuel Homfray and Mr. Richard 
Crawshay ; the former knew what Trevethick could 
do, and for a bet of 1,000 guineas undertook to con- 
vey a load of ten tons of iron bars in trams by steam 
power from his works along the tram-road to the 
canal at Navigation in a certain limit of time. Mr,. 
Charles Wilkins has given us the following descrip- 
tive version of the event : — 

" The locomotive was a curiosity. With a tally 
clumsy stack, it had a dwarfed body, perched 
on a high wooden framework, and large 
wheels. The cylinder was upright, and the 
piston worked downwards. Attached to the 
engine were trams, laden not only with ten 
tons of iron, but with seventy persons also^ 
each of whom had a yearning to distinguish 
himself amongst his fellows. On the locomo- 
tive, stern-faced but hopeful, was Richard 
Trevethick. His fortunes hung on the ven* 

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ture ; the puffing steed might soar with him to 
immortality. And there stood honest Eees 
Jones, the self-taught mechanic, doubt and 
hope amusingly blended; and William 
Eichards, the driver, anxious for the signal ; 
and the Homfrays and Crawshays, too, were 
there, and managers, and agents. 

The signal was given ; a jet of steam burst 
forth ; the wheels revolved with hideous clang, 
and slowly the mass moved; and Eichard 
Crawshay the same instant felt his thousand 
guineas take wing. But it was not a smooth 
run. Just below the village, the stack, which 
was made of bricks, came into collision with 
a bridge, and away went bridge and stack. 
Trevethick was not the man to be daunted; 
and though no one was allowed to move hand 
or foot to help him, he soon built up the stack, 
and steamed away at the rate of five miles an 
hour, reaching Navigation with ease and 
winning the wager; though it did not settle 
the question of the possibility of these locomo- 
tives being used for transport, as it failed 
utterly, on account of gradients and curves, 
to bring the empty trams back again." 

The quantity of iron and steel manufactured in the 
county now reaches the huge total of 600,000 tons. 
This is used for home consumption and for foreign 
shipment ; Cardiff last year shipped for foreign parts 
160,000 tons, Swansea 12,665 tons. 

The following excerpt from Mushet's '' Origin of 
Iron " shows that the manufacture of iron was 

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engaged in, in this county at a very early period. It 
refers to the old Duflfryn furnace at Merthyr Tydfil. 

** As a proof that pig or cast-iron was made in 
England antecedent to this period (17th Cen- 
tury), we have not only the fact of .guns being 
cast from it in 1547, and mortars, and other 
artillery during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, 
but I happen to have, through the kindness of 
Mr. Hill, of the Plymouth Ironworks, in my 
possession a perfect casting, on which are 
inscribed the arms of England, with the 
initials E.K., and bearing date 1B63, being 
the last year of the reign of Edward VI. 
There are remains of a charcoal furnace on 
the west side of the River Taff, opposite the 
Plymouth Ironworks, where probably this 
casting was made. 

COPPER -SMCLTINO is carried on at Swansea, 
Morriston, Landore, Llansamlet, Neath, Briton 
Ferry, Taibach, Port Talbot, Cwmavon, Skewen, 
and Cardiff. 

The home of the copper-smelting industry has been 
at Swansea and neighbourhood from very early 
times. The quantity of ore imported into the port of 
Swansea alone exceeds 200,000 tons annually. At 
one time Swansea and district accounted for 90 per 
cent, of the whole copper production of the United 
Kingdom. The industry attained its present import- 
ance during the latter half of the past century, but 
the period of its commencement dates back to the 
year 1583 a.d. Colonel Grant Francis, F.S.A., in 
his work on " The Smelting of Copper &c.," states 

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that in that year copper ore was worked by a London 
company — "The Mines Royal Society/' — at Treworth 
in Cornwall, and that this company erected a 
" meltinge-house at Neath in Wales." The skilled 
workmen employed in those early days appear to 
have been of Dutch or German nationality. We do 
not find that copper-smelting works were opened at 
Swansea until the year 1717, when a Dr. Lane estab- 
lished the works at Glandwr, now corrupted into 
Landore. The Aberavan or Taibach works were 
opened in 1727; and other works at Hafod, Morfa, 
Llansamlet, and Loughor at much later dates during 
the 19th Century. 

TIN-PLATE MAKINO is carried on at Swansea^ 
Morriston, Aberavan, Neath, Pontardawe, Clydach, 
Taibach, Landore, Melin Gruffydd, Briton Ferry, 
Llansamlet, Ystalyfera, Llantrisant, Aberdulais,. 
Skewen, Melin Cryddan. 

Although the tin ore of the Cornish Peninsula has 
been worked from the very earliest times, and 
nations of antiquity like the Phoenicians have been 
drawn hither to partake of the ricHes of the mines, 
yet the secret of tin-plating was unknown to the 
artisans of these islands until the 17th Century had 
far advanced. At the close of the 16th Century the 
only nation in Europe which knew anything con- 
cerning the tin-plating process was the Bohemians. 
Saxony, by a successful ruse, succeeded in learning 
from the Bohemians the secrets of the process, and 
flourished exceedingly upon it. 

The honour of first introducing the manufacture 
to this country belongs to Andrew Yarranton, an 

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ingenious Parliamentary soldier of the ** Great Civil 
War." Yarranton describes how he succeeded in 
learning the secrets of the manufacture: — 

" Knowing the usefulness of tin-plates, and the 
goodness of our metals for that purpose, I did, 
about sixteen years since, namely, about 166B, 
endeavour to find the way for making thereof, 
whereupon I acquainted a person of much 
riches, and one that was very understanding 
in the iron manufacture, who was pleased to 
say that he had often designed to get the trade 
into England, but never could find out the 
way. Upon which it was agreed that a sum 
of monies should be advanced by several per- 
sons for defraying of my charges of travelling 
to the place where these plates are made, and 
from thence to bring away the art of making 
them. Upon which an able fireman, that well 
knew and understood the nature of iron, was 
made choice of to accompany me ; and, being 
fitted with an ingenious interpreter that well 
understood the language, and that had dealt 
much in that commodity, we marched first for 
Hamburgh, then to Leipsic, and from thence 
to Dresden, the Duke of Saxony's Court, 
where we had notice of the place where the 
plates were made." 

It appears that the neighbourhood of Pontypool, in 
Monmouthshire, has the honour of starting one of the 
first tin-plate works in South Wales. We are not told 
whether Yarranton himself, assisted by Mr. Capel 
Hanbury, was the means of establishing the works 

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there. The progress made in South Wales with the 
manufacture appears to have been slow, for we learn 
from Mr. Charles Wilkins's valuable work on *' The 
Iron and Tin Industries of South Wales " that by the 
year 1750, during the charcoal era, there were only 
four works in the whole of Monmouthshire and 
South Wales. Bj^ the year 1830, when coal-mining 
had made great strides, there were 110 furnaces in 
South Wales, and of these, 44 were in Monmouth- 

This industry showed marvellous development up 
to within recent years, when skilled Americans 
visited our country and learnt the secrets of the 
manufacture. Welshmen were invited to the United 
States, and settled in Pennsylvania. By the imposi- 
tion of tariffs upon all imported tin from abroad, our 
trade in this commodity with the United States fell 
off to a marked extent for a time, and a very large 
number of the mills in the Swansea district were 
consequently closed. But new markets have been 
openad up in other parts of the Avorld, and there is 
a revival in the industry, at the present time, and 
the United States, despite her deliberate prohibitive 
tariff, is still our largest customer. 

PATENT FUEL.— Swansea has more works in 
this industry of utilising the small coal; and making 
it into briquettes, than any district in Glamorgan- 
shire. Large consignments of this commodity are 
sent from this port to South America, France, and 
Africa.' The total annual shipments is close upon 
1,000,000 tons. Cardiff also does a considerable 
trade in the commodity, the shipments reaching 


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480,000 tons annually, whilst Port Talbot sends 
away about 120,000 tons. 


parts of the county are engaged in producing these 
commodities. Chief among them are: Swansea, 
Llantrisant, Cardiff, Pencoed, Nantgarw, Ewenny. 

Swansea and Nantgarw were famous years ago for 
the quality of their porceclains. The industry has, 
however, unfortunately disappeared since the year 
1870; the relics are deemed of great value by the 
connoisseurs of this lost art of Glamorgan. Mr. W. 
Turner, in his '' Ceramics of Swansea and Nant- 
garw," states: — ** The history of the Ceramic manu- 
factures at Swansea is not only interesting, but in 
some points it is unique. The period for all the pot- 
teries covered about 120 years. The first was started 
for earthenware about the time that the English 
potteries were budding into porcelain factories. 
About twenty years afterwards it produced the so- 
called '' opaque china,'' but not till 1814 did the real 
porcelain come forth from its kilns. That, unfor- 
tunately, only lasted for the short period of about 
ten years ; but the scientific excellence of its paste and 
the artistic decorations have given that period a 
fame which holds good, and is likely to continue as 
long as specimens can be obtained by connoisseurs." 

The Nantgarw factory in the Taff Valley was 
started in 1811, and was continued until 1814, when 
the artists removed to Swansea. They went back to 
Nantgarw in 1817, and remained there until 1819, 
when Billingsley, the founder, removed to Coalport. 

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The Nantgarw factory was continued until 1822 Dy 
Young and Pardoe. The Swansea factory was taken 
over by Bevington and Company in 1817, and was 
continued by them until 1824, when the production 
of porcelains ceased. Dillwyn and Evens continued 
the earthenware works until 1870. They produced 
imitation Wedgewood and Etruscan wares. The 
best Nantgarw porcelain was tliat produced by 
Billingsley from 1811 to 1819. 


Mr. Soden Smith, keeper of the Art Section, South 
Kensington Museum, considers that the Welsh 
porcelain factories were the most interesting of all 
the British potteries. The Welsh porcelain, in its 
lovely translucent body, was equal, if not superior to, 
the finest '' Old Sevres." " The soft paste," said he, 
*' so absorbed the colours decorated thereon so as to 
make them permanent. No British paste, except 

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what was made at Coalport or Madeley from the 
same Billingsley recipe, ever attained this degree of 
translucent quality." 

Coarse ware and pipes continue to be made at 
Nantgarw. The red pottery ware is of a good 
quality. Rumney (near Cardiff), Ewenny, and Pen- 
coed are also engaged in this form of production. 
The old-established potteries of Ewenny have been 
in operation for some centuries, where they produce 
the red, drab, and white ware of coarse kinds. 
Among the objects produced are many of old type 
and form, re-calling pottery of the 16th and 16th 

At Pencoed some very fine terra-cotta for architec- 
ture and decorative purposes has been produced for 
a considerable number of years. 

MANURES.— Cardiff, Neath, Swansea, Pontypridd. 

the British Isles has a better means of rail- 
way communication than the County of Gla- 
morgan. The main line of the Great West- 
ern Railway, known as the South Wales 
Railway, from London to Milford and Fishguard, 
passes through the sg^uthern reaches of the county, 
via Cardiff, Ely, Llantrisant, Bridgend, Neath, Lan- 
dore Junction, Gowerton, and Loughor, to enter the 
County of Caermarthen. 

Every valley having a southerly outlet is served 
by a branch railway, and worked by various com- 

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panies, with the intention of meeting the Great 
Western Eailway main line at various points, or of 
entering the chief ports of the county. 

First in importance of the valley railways is the 
Taff Vale Railway from Merthyr Tydfil, Aberdare, 
and the two Rhonddas. The branches from Merthyr 
and Aberdare meet at Abercynon, having respec- 
tively passed through Troedyrhiw, Merthyr Vale, 
and Quakers Yard: Aberaman, Mountain Ash, and 
Penrhiwceibr. At Pontypridd the main line of the 
Taff Vale Railway is joined by the united branches 
from the two Rhonddas. The Rhondda Fawr Branch 
starts at Treherbert, and passes through Treorky, 
Ystrad, Llwynypia, Dinas, and Forth, where it is 
joined by Rhondda Fach Branch from Mardy, Fern- 
dale, Tylorstown, Ynyshir, and then proceeds via 
Trehafod to join the main line at Pontypridd. The 
railway then proceeds through Treforest, Walnut 
Tree Bridge, Radyr, and Llandaff to Cardiff (Queen 
Street) and the Docks, and also to join Cardiff Great 
Western Railway. It then proceeds to Penarth and 
along the coast via Lavemock, Sully, Cadoxton, to 
Barry Dock. 

A branch of the Taff Vale Railway leaves Ponty- 
pridd for Cowbridge and Aberthaw, via Treforest, 
Church Village, Llantwit, Cross Inn, Llantrisant, 
Llanharry, and Ystrad Owen. 

The Taff Vale Railway from Merthyr to Cardiff, a 
distance of 24 miles, was commenced in 1836 by Sir 
J. J. Guest and others ; and in October, 1840, it was 
opened for traiBc from Cardiff to Navigation, a di- 
sance of fifteen miles. The line was opened to its full 
extent to Merthyr in April, 1841. 

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In August, 1846, the Aberdare branch of this line, 
with a length of 9J miles, from Abercynon to Aber- 
dare, was opened for traffic: and in the year 
1842, the Rhondda branch to Dinas was constructed, 
and completed to Treherbert in 1850. 

The Llancaiach branch of four miles was sanc- 
tioned under the original Parliamentary Act of 1^6. 

The Ehymnet Kailwat starts at Rhymney 
Bridge, where it has communication with the Aber- 
gavenny and Merthvr Branch of the London and 
North Western Railway. It then proceeds via 
Rhynmey, Pontlottyn, Tirphil, Brithdir, Bargoed, 
Hengoed, Ystrad Mynach, Llanbradach, Caerphilly, 
and Llanishen to Cardiff. 

Another branch of the Rhymney Railway passes 
to Merthyr through Quakers Yard, Aberfan, and 

The Brecon and Merthyr Railway runs from 
Merthyr and Newport to Brecon. The connection 
with Merthyr passes through Cefn, Pontsarn, Pont- 
sticyll, Dolgaer, and Torpantau, where it enters 
Breconshire. The connection with Newport enters 
the county from Monmouthshire at Bargoei and 
proceeds via Darran, Fochriw, Dowlais Top, Pant, 
to join the other branch at Pontsticyll. 

This railway was opened for traffic from Brecon to 
Pant in May, 1863, The branch between Merthyr 
and Pontsticyll was made at a subsequent date. 

The Vale of Neath Railway (Great Western 
Railway Branch) runs from Swansea to Aberdare, 
Merthyr, and Pontypool, via Neath, Aberdulais, 

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Eesolven, Glyn Neath, Hirwaun, Aberdare, Quakers 
Yard, Llancaiach, Hengoed Junction, over Crumlin 
Bridge. This railway Avas opened in September, 
1851. Its incorporation with the Great Western 
Eailway took place in 1865. 

The Barry Eailway is the outcome of a coalition 
of the great colliery proprietors of the Ehondda 
Valley, who desired greater means of transit for the 
coal raised than was aflForded by the old Taff Vale 
Eailway. The railway starts at Trehafod, in the 
Ehondda Valley, but the company has 


powers for passenger traffic to Forth. It proceeds via 
Graig (Pontypridd), Treforest, Efail isaf, Creigiau, 
St. Fagan's, Wenvoe, Cadoxton, Barry Dock, and 
Barry, to Barry Island. 

Another branch of this railway, called the Vale 
OP Glamorgan Eailway, starts from Bridgend, and 
proceeds through Southerndown, Llantwit Major, 
Gileston, Abertliaw, Ehoose, to Barry Island. 

Yet another branch has recently been completed 

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for mineral traflBc only, and crosses the Taff Valley 
at Taff's Well by a handsome viaduct. It then pro- 
ceeds via Caerphilly to Llanbradach, where it crosses 
the Rhymni by one of the most imposing railway 
viaducts in the country, and joins the Brecon and 
Merthyr Railway opposite that place. 

The Rhondda and Swansea Bay Railway runs 
from Treherbert, where it joins the Taff Vale Rail- 






way, and through the Blaenycwm Tunnel, then via 
Blaengwynfi, Cymmer, Pontrhydyfen, Cwmavon, 
Port Talbot, Briton Ferry, Jersey Marine, and Dany- 
graig, to Swansea. It was opened in the year 1890. 

The Llynvi and Ogmobe Railway (Great Western 
Railway Branch) runs from Bridgend to Nantymoel 

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and Abergwynfi, via Tondu, Blackmill, and 
Tynewydd ; and Tondu, Maesteg, to Abergwynfi. 

The Port Talbot Eailway runs to Maesteg and 

The Neath and Brecon Eailway- (Midland 
Branch) runs from Swansea to Hereford, via Cil- 
frew, Crynant, Seven Sisters, and Colbren Junction, 
where it enters Breconshire. 

Another branch of this railway runs via Morris- 
ton, Pontardawe, Ystalyfera, Ystradgjmlais, Aber- 
crave, and joins the other section at Colbren 

The London and North- Western Railway runs 
into Swansea by the Central Wales connection 
through Brecknockshire and Caermarthenshire, and 
enters this county at Pontarddulais, passing subse- 
quently through Gorseinion, Gowerton, Dunvant, 
Killay, Mumbles Road, Swansea Bay, to Swansea 

The branch of the London and North Western 
Railway from Abergavenny to Merthyr enters the 
county at Rhymney Bridge, and passes through 
Dowlais Top, and Cefn, to Merthyr. 

CANALS. — The Glamorganshire Canal, from 
Cardiff to Merthyr Tydfil, was the first water-way 
communication constructed in the county. It was 
commenced in the year 1791, and took four years to 
complete. The leading man in its construction was 
Mr. Samuel Homfray, of the Plymouth Ironworks^ 
at Merthyr Tydfil. 

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The canal measures 26 miles in length, and passes 
up through the Taff Valley by Melin Gruffydd, Ton- 
gwynlais, ' Nantgarw , Treforest, Pontypridd, Cil- 
fynydd, Abercynon, and Troedyrhiw. It has an 
-average depth of five feet, and is fitted with 40 locks, 
which enables it to rise at its head at Merthyr Tydfil 
to an elevation of 6] 1 feet above high-water level at 
Cardiff. Barges of 25 tons burden are navigated 
with ease upon its course. At a period subsequent to 
its original construction it was continued from 
Cardiff town-quay to the mouth of the Taff in 
Penarth Bay; and for that portion of its course it 
enabled ships of 200 tons burden to navigate to the 
town quays; this was of very great advantage 
in the early part of the 19th Century, before the 
advent of railway communication. 

During the years which preceded the construction 
of this canal, mules and pack horses were requisi- 
tioned to convey the coal and the produce of the fur- 
naces at Merthyr to the port of Cardiff for foreign 
shipment. Mr. Charles Wilkins, in his " History of 
Merthyr Tydfil," recounts the story of a Penydarran 
man, who is deemed worthy of ranking as one of the 
most famous of the old athletes. He was regularly 
employed Avheeling a barrow of manufactured iron 
from the furnaces at Merthyr to Cardiff. We can well 
picture his reception in those days at the seaport 
town, and the enthusiasm aroused upon his return to 
Merthyr, wheeling his empty one-wheeled vehicle. 

The actual cost of the construction of the canal 
was £103,660, of which Mr. Homfray subscribed 
^40,000. Most of the shares were subsequently 

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bought up by Mr. Eichard Crawshay, the " Iron 
King," of Cyfarthfa. 

The total quantity of material carried by the canal 
to Cardiff in the year 1805 was 9,906 tons. By the 
year 1853 the revenue received by the owners for 
tonnage alone exceeded £150,00(3 annually, i.e., 
£60,000 more than the cost of construction 60 years 

A branch canal was constructed from Navigation, 
up the Cynon Valley in the year 1811. to convey the 
coal and iron from the works at Aberdare and imme- 
diate neighbourhood, for shipment at Cardiff. 

The Neath Canal was begun in the same year as 
the Glamorganshire Canal. It communicated with 
the industrial districts to the north of Aberpergwm 
House in the Valley of the Nedd, and proceeded from 
Glyn Neath via Resolven and Aberdulais to the town 
of Neath. It was in later years continued south- 
wards to Briton Ferry, where a convenient shipping 
quay was constructed for loading ships with the coal 
and other produce brought down from the valley 
before the advent of railways and large docks. The 
canal measures fourteen miles in length, and con- 
tains sixteen locks. 

At the commencement of the 19th Century a tram- 
road was made from the collieries and new iron- 
works then being established at Hirwaun to the head 
of this canal at Glyn Neath. This w^s before the 
construction of the short section of the Glamorgan 
Canal up the Cynon Valley. 

The Swansea Canal was constructed in the year 
1798, to afford water communication and transit for 

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the Tawe Valley. It starts at Yn}^sbydafau, in the 
neighbourhood of Abercrave in Breconshire, and 
passes through Penrhos, Ystradgynlais, Ynysced- 
wyn, Gyrnos, Ystalyfera, Ynysmeudwy, Pontar- 
dawe, Clydach, BwUfa, Morriston, Landore, Hafod, 
to Swansea, a distance of seventeen miles. The 
average depth of the canal was five feet, which 
afforded water carriage for barges of 25 tons burden. 
The Port Tennant Canal was constructed in 
1822, and was cut across the Crymlyn Burrows from 
Swansea to Briton Ferry, a distance of eight miles. 
It terminated at a shipping wharf near the latter 
place, on the western bank of the Nedd River. 

A small canal connected the works at Gwern* 
llwynchAvith, near Llansamlet with Foxhole, oppo- 
site Swansea, on the eastern bank of the Tawe River. 

POPULATION.- It is difficult to realise the enor- 
mous increase in the population of the county within 
the past hundred years. Glamorgan, to-day, con- 
tains twelve times the inhabitants it possessed at the 
dawn of the 19th Century. In 1801 the number of 
men, women, and children was estimated at 70,879, 
which gave one individual to every seven acres of the 
surface. According to the census of 1901, the popu- 
lation had reached 869,931, being one person to 
every two-thirds of an acre. 

The great masses of the people are to be found in 
the coal-bearing areas and in the towns. Cardiff, 
Swansea, Merthyr Tydfil, Aberdare, Pontypridd, 
Bariy, Aberavan, Port Talbot, and the numerous 
village-towns of the Rhondda and Ogwr Valleys are 
creations of the 19th Century. 

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The greatest rate of increase took place in the 
decennial periods of 1841, 1861, 1861, 1881, 1891, 
and 1901, as the following table shows: — 

1801 ... 70,879 1861 ... 317,752 

1831 ... 126,612 1871 ... 397,859 

1841 ... 171,188 1881 ... 511,433 

1851 ... 231,849 1891 ... 687,218 

1901 ... 859 931 

The last ten years has witnessed a great decrease 
in the rural parishes of the county. No fewer than 
52 parishes have shown, by the last census, the great 
migration which is going on from the villages to the 
towns and industrial centres. This has been marked 
to an unusual extent in the Vale of Glamorgan and 
in the Gower Peninsula. 

LANGUAGE.— The official returns of the last 
census very markedly show that though the county 
is strongly impregnated with a section of the popula- 
tion who only use the English tongue in conversa- 
tion, yet the predominant partner outside the County 
Boroughs is the Welshman. The proportion of 
Welsh-speaking people is registered at 55 per cent., 
whilst the proportion who use English only is 45 per 

The districts in which Welsh is most spoken are 
Aberdare, Bridgend, Briton Ferry, Caerphilly, 
Gelligaer, Glyncorwg, Llantrisant, Maesteg, 
Margam, Merthyr Tydfil, Mountain Ash, Neath, 
•OgmOre, Garw, Pontardawe, Pontypridd, Rhondda, 
xind Swansea. 

It is computed that in Cardiff about 8 per cent, of 

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the population are Welsh-speaking ; in some districts 
of Swansea more than half the inhabitants habitually 
employ Welsh as the language of intercourse; whilst 
in Merthyr Tydfil, Aberdare, the Rhonddas, and the 
Ogwr Valleys the proportion is probably higher. 

The County contains two County Boroughs, four 
^Funicipal Boroughs, and fifteen other Turban Dis- 

The County Boroughs are Cardiff and Swansea. 

The Municipal Boroughs are Aberavan, Cow- 
bridge, Neath, and Merthyr Tydfil. 

The Urban Districts are Aberdare, Barrj% 
Bridgend, Briton Ferry, Caerphilly, Glyncorwg, 
Maesteg, Margam, Mountain Ash, Ogmore and 
Garw, Oystermouth, Penarth, Pontypridd Porth- 
cawl, Rhondda. 

DIVISIONS-— Glamorganshire is divided into 
the following ten hundreds: — Caerphilly, Cibwr, 
Cowbridge, Dinas Powis, Miski», Newcastle (Bridg- 
end), Neath, Ogmore, Llangyfelach, and Swansea. 

The Ancient Divisions of Glamorgan, which did 
not contain the Gower Peninsula, but comprised 
parts of Monmouthshire, consisted of six cantrefs, 
and 24 commotes as follows: — 

1. — G-ro Nedd or Gorf.ynydd 

compEued the extxj^me west- 
ern part. 

Rhwii« Nedd ac Af&n 
Tir yr Hwndrwd. 
Tir larll (the BarPt land) was 

Bridgend and part of Btttws. 
Y Coity. 
Glyn Ogwr, parishes of Llan- 

ffeinor and Ltandyfo d wg. 

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2. — ^Penychen or Pen y Nen. 

3. — Cantref Breiniawl 

(The Royal Hundred, because 
it included the Lord's castle 
of Cardiff. 

4 . — G waunllwg 

(G-wentllwg, now included in 
Mon. : the low-lying district 
between Cardiff and Newport. 

6. — Cantref Gwent Uwch Coed. 

6. — Cantref Iscoed. 

Miskin (Llanirisant, &c.). 

Glyn Rhoddni (Vale of Rhondda)- 

Tal y Fan (Welsh St. Donat's, 


Rhuthyn (red soil), territory 
given by Fitzhamon to Madoc 
ap lestyn, and included Llan- 

Is Cayach (Gelligaer, Llanfabon^ 

Uwch Cayach (Merthyr, Aber- 

dare, Llanwyno). 
Senghenydd (Caerphilly, Castelt 

Cibwr (Kibbor), (Cardiff, Roath, 

Whitchurch, Llanishen, Llys- 

faen, Llanedern). 

Yr Haidd. 

Y dref berfedd (central part). 
Edelygion Eithaf. 

Y Mynydd. 

Now Monmouthshire. 

The county contains the following twelve Market 
Towns: — Aberdare, Cardiff, Caerphilly, Aberavan, 
Cowbridge, Bridgend, Llantrisant, Neath, Merthyr 
Tydfil, Pontypridd, Swansea, and Tondu. 

It contains the Cathedral City of Llandaff. 

There are 126 parishes in the county, which for 
purposes of the Poor Law Board are administered 
by the following nine Poor Law Unions, viz. : Car- 
diff established in 1835, Merthyr Tydfil in 1836, 
Pontypridd in 1863, Gower in 1857, Swansea in 
1836, Bridgend, Neath in 1888, Pontardawe in 1876, 
and Rhondda in 1904. 

The parishes are distributed among the hundreds 
in the following manner: — 

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of Caerphilly, 




„ Cibwr, 




„ Miskin, 




„ Cowbridge, 




„ Dinas Powis, 




„ Ogmore, 




„ Newcastle, 




„• Neath, 




„ Llangyfelach, 




„ Swansea, 



The County Council, which first came into exist- 
ence in 1889, for the civil administration of the 
affairs of the county, consists of 88 members, viz., 22 
Aldermen and 66 Councillors. . The Aldermen are 
elected by the Council to sit for six years, whilst the 
Councillors are elected triennially by the electors of 
the county. 

The meetings of the Council are held at Ponty- 
pridd and Neath alternately. 


Glamorganshire returns ten Members to the Imperial 
Parliament, under the Eedistribution of Seats Acts, 
1885, viz., FIVE for the various county districts, 
which comprise a Member each for Mid-Glamorgan, 
South Glamorgan, East Glamorgan, the Rhondda 
Division, and the Gower Division, and five for the 
Borough districts of Cardiff, Merthyr i,two Mem- 
bers), Swansea Town, and Swansea District. 

In the Administration of Justice, Glamorgan- 
shire is under the jurisdiction of a Lord' Lieuteriaht, 
a High Sheriff, and about 350 magistrates. It is 

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included in the South Wales Judicial Circuit. The 
Assizes are held at Cardiff and Swansea alterna- 
tively, three times in the year — in March, July, and 
November. Cardiff, Swansea, Merthyr, Aberdare, 
Mountain Ash, Pontypridd, Forth, and Ystrad have 
stipendiary magistrates. 

The Quarter Sessions are held at Cardiff four 
times a year, in January, April, June, and October. 

The County Courts are held in the following 
centres: — Aberdare, Mountain Ash, Bridgend, Car- 
diff, Merthyr Tydfil, Neath, Aberavan, Pontypridd, 
Ystrad, Forth, and Swansea. 

The County Prisons are at Cardiff and Swansea. 

The Police Establishment of the county consists 
of 1 chief constable, 1 deputy chief constable, 4 
superintendents, 1 chief clerk, 20 inspectors, 57 ser- 
geants, 35 acting sergeants, 359 constables, making 
a total of 478 officers. 

Ecclesiastically, the county belongs to the Dio- 
cese of Llandaff, and is in the Province of Canter- 
bury. The Bishop resides at the Castle, Llandaff. 

The Diocese has two Archdeaconries, viz., Llandaff 
and Monmouth. 

EDUCATION.— The history of Education in 
Glamorganshire, and Wales as a whole, reads like a 
chapter of romance. So marvellous have been the 
changes wrought, and so great have been the strides 
made, that when we look backward it is almost 
incredible that so much could have been accom- 
plished in the space of a little more than a hundred 


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years. To-day, the system of education in 
Wales is the most perfect and complete of any 
of the countries of the British Isles. A child 
may now rise from the loAvest rung of the 
educational ladder to the highest. It may pass 
through the various stages from the Infant school, 
the Primary school for older scholars, Intermediate 
school, University College to either of the older 
Universities of Oxford or Cambridge. 

At the dawn of the era of the great 
industrial development the people lived in daric- 



ness educationally, morally, and spiritually. 
There was no organised system of education 
anywhere in the county. The only semblance 
of a school for regular instruction was at 
Cowbridge, where an old foundation had been in 
existence from the time of the Eeformation, and 
which was privileged to have its endowments greatly 

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augmented by Sir Leoline Jenkins in the time of 
Charles II. 

The Methodist Revival of religion in the 18tli 
Century introduced a system of Sabbath Schools 
for the reading and the expounding of the Scrip- 
rures. With these there came into existence a few of 
the circulating schools of Madame Bevan and the 
saintly Griffith Jones, Llanddowror, in which 
itinerant schoolmasters roamed from neighbourhood 
to neighbourhood, and taught in the farmsteads of 
the most godly of the native inhabitants. These 
teachers were also in the habit of spending their 
evenings in instructing at the people's own homes the 
families of those who could not attend the schools in 
the daytime. As a result of these circulating schools 
we have the following testimony by a clergyman of 
Oelligaer circa, 1750 a.d. : — 

" The Welsh schools have been means, under 
God, to reform the profanation of the Sabbath 
Day; which the generality of the common 
people formerly spent in tipplino-, gambling, 
gaming, &c., notwithstanding all the good 
laws in force against it. For as then they 
assembled together for their plays and diver- 
sions without much interruption, neighbours 
associate now on the Lord's Day evening to 
read their Bibles, or other good books, and to 
repeat Avhat they remember of the instruction-s 
given them from the pulpit in the morning. 
.... They gratefully own the light and 
reformation they are now blessed with, to bo 
owing (next under God) to the charitable sup- 
porters of these schools, &c." 

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That^ probably, would be the result of the first 
attempt at common education in our county. With 
the exception of these Sunday Schools we do not find 
that anything was systematically adiqpted nntil the 
establishment of the Joseph Lancaster Schools in the 
early years of the l^ili Century, and the National 
Society's Schools a few years later 

As late as the year 1846, in the industrial 
centres there were the workmen's schools in 
connection with particular works, where an 
elementary education was given the employees' 
chUdren. These were maintained (wholly or 
in part* bj' a stoppage from the wages of the work- 
men employed at these works, the proprietors usually 
providing the site and the schoolroom. But the great 
majority of the common schools of the county were 
nothing more nor less than private venture Dame 

From the Eeport of the Conmiission appointed in 
1846 to enquire into the state of education in the 
Principality, we glean the following interesting 
information from the pen of one of the commissioners 
(Mr. R. R. W. Lingen). He says: — 

" I found 24 such schools " (workmen's). " The 
stoppages upon the people's wages vary con- 
siderably in amount, as Jd., Id., or 2d. per 
week ; 2d., 4d., or 6d. per month : Id. or 4d. in 
£1 (in the latter instance the sick-fund is 
maintained from the same source). For these 
payments, books, but not stationery, are 
generally found. The stoppage is compulsorj. 
and is made irrespectively of the number of 

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ENQUIRY OF 1846. 69 

children sent to school, or of a man having any 
to send. In one instance only aid I find a 
difference maae between married and un- 
married men. The contributors are not fur- 
nished with any means of auditing the school 
accounts, neither have they any control over 
the expenditure of the funds. There is a kind 
of tacit understanding that, in consideration 
of the stoppage, the proprietors will keep open 
the school as long as they keep on the works." 

The Dame Schools were sorry apologies for educa- 
tional establishments, and were held in the cottage of 
the respectable lady. This is how the Report 
describes some of them in our county : — 

'' The school was held in a room, part of a 
dwelling-house ; the room was so small that a 
great many of the scholars were obliged to go 
into the room above, which they reached by 
means of a ladder, through a hole in the loft ; 
the room was lighted by one small glazed 
window, half of which was patched with 
boards. It was altogether a wretched place. 
The furniture consisted of one table, in a 
miserable condition, and a few broken 
benches; the floor was in a very bad state, 
there being several large holes in it, some of 
them nearly half a foot deep. The room was 
so dark that the few children whom I heard 
read were obliged to go to the door, and open 
it to have sufficient light." 

" This school is held in the mistress's house. I 
never shall forget the hot, sickening smell 

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which struck me on opening the door of that 
low, dark room, in which 30 girls and 20 boys 
were huddled together. It more nearly re- 
sembled the smell of the engine on board a 
steamer, such as is felt by a sea-sick 
voyager on passing near the funnel. Exag- 
gerated as this may appear, I am writing on 
the evening of the same day on which I visited 
the school, and I will vouch for the accuracy 
of what I state. Everything in tne room (i.e., 
a few benches of various heights and sizes, 
and a couple of tables) was hidden under, and 
overlaid with children." 

" The room in which this school is held is a most 
miserable hut, not fit to shelter cattle in, as 
the thatched roof would be anything but 
proof against bad weather. The Master said 
that he often suffered from the rain ; and there 
were large quantities of straw inside the roof 
to shelter, in some degree, himself and 

Such was the character of the seminaries of sixty 
years ago in most places of our county. Is it to be 
wondered at that great ignorance and superstition 
was prevalent throughout the country ? Even at this 
early period we find from this old Blue Book of 1847 
that the number of schools of various sizes, with an 
average attendance of nine or a round dozen to some 
200 in other places, was close upon 300. in which 
some 15,000 children Avere educated. Mr. Lingen 
has, however, been careful to tell us that the number 
who attended for less than one year was 6,912, for. 

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two years 3,207, for three years 1,822, whilst the 
number for more than four years was only 687. 

However, a better state of things was 
inaugurated shortly after this, which created 
the demand for compulsory Elementary Educa- 
tion in our country. This was brought about 
by liie Act of 1870 and the Establishment 
of the School Board System. As a result of that 
beneficial Act we find that in nearly every parish of 
our county there was established a School Board, 
and when these ceased to exist by the Education Act 
of 1902, there were 61 of them, besides 97 bodies of 
Voluntary School Managers, which were all brought 
under one authority in the county — the Glamorgan- 
shire County Council — where the local areas did not 
exceed a population of 20,000. 

The Borough Councils of Cardiff, Swansea, and 
Xeath, together with the TTrban Districts of Aberdare, 
Barry, Merthyr, Mountain Ash, Pontypridd, and the 
Rhondda are invested w^ith self-government in respect 
of elementary education. 

The number of Primary Schools in the county now 
exceeds 400, with over 800 separate departments, 
educating over 94,000 children between three and 
fifteen years of age. 

HIGHER EDUCATION. — The County Council 
is empowered to aid Higher Education through- 
out the whole of its area. By higher 
education is meant the education of all per- 
sons not in attendance at an elementary or primary 
school. It includes intermediate and technical 

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instruction, evening school education, and the train- 
ing of teachers. For this purpose the county autho- 
rity has the power to spend to the extent of a rate 
of 2d. in the £. If a higher rate is necessary, this may 
be obtained by the consent of the Local Government 

The Municipal Boroughs and Urban Districts 
within the area of the County Administration are 
empowered, with concurrent powers, to spend such 
sums as they deem necessary up to a limit of a rate 
of Id. in the £. At the same time, they may be rated 
by the County Council up to a rate of 2d. in the <£. 

For purposes of Higher Education only, the Act of 
1902 has established twelve new local authorities, 
which are restricted to the penny rate. These are 
Aberavan, Bridgend, Briton Ferry. Caerphilly, 
Glyncorwg, Maesteg, Margam, Ogmore and Garw, 
Oystermouth, Penarth, Porthcawl, and Cowbridge. 

there was presented to Parliament by a Committee of 
Enquiry, a report embodying the desirability of pro- 
viding better educational facilities in Secondary and 
Higher Education in "Wales, a scheme was then pre- 
pared and drafted, which was passed into law in the 
year 1889 under the title of the Welsh Inter.-: 
MEDIATE Education Act. The provisions of this 
measure ordained the formation in each county of a 
Committee to provide for the establishment of Secon- 
dary Schools, so well known to-day as the Inter- 
mediate or Secondary Schools. The Education Act 
of 1902 has merged these Committees into the County 
and Municipal Councils. 

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Under the Act of 1889 the following Intermediate 
Schools were established in the county: — 

Aberdare County School (Dual) with 126 boy« and 131 girls 

Barry „ 





Bridgend „ 





Cowbridge „ 




Cardiff „ 




" >j 




Gelligaer „ 




» >» 



Qiowerton „ 





Swansea (Grammar) 







Neath County 





Penarth „ 




>» »» 




Pontypridd „ 




Merthyr Tydfil 





Port Talbot 




Porth ^ 





Yst&lyfera „ 



71 „ 


Howell'B School Llandaff (Girls) 


Two of the above schools are of an older founda- 
tion than the Intermediate Act of 1889, viz., the 
Gelligaer Endowed and the HowelFs School of Llan- 

Tpie Gelligaer School, or, to give it its full desig- 
nation, " The Lewis's Endowed School, Gelligaer," 
owes its foundation to the late Edward Lewis, of Gil- 
fach-Bargoed, who left by his will, dated 19th 
March, 1765, certain charities for the benefit of Gelli- 
gaer Parish in Glamorganshire, and likewise in part 
for the benefit of the Parishes of Bedwellty and 
Mynyddislwyn in Monmouthshire. The carrying out 
of the Trusts were provided by schemes of the Court 
of Chancery, which v/ere at various times revised 
or amended. The last scheme under the original 
Trust was executed in 1849. This remained in force 
until the year 1871, when the first School Board was 

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established, and a new scheme was inaugurated 
which obtained the approval of the Privy Council in 
July, 1874. Under this scheme there was a division 
of the property, one part being under the manage- 
ment of the original Trustees, and the other part 
under the management of a body of governors, who 
were expected to found and maintain a school or 
schools under certain speciJBled limitations. 

Under this new scheme a school was opened on the 
5th April, 1875, which was carried on as a High or 
Grammar School until it came under the Inter- 
mediate Education Scheme of 1889. 

Under the scheme of 1849 a chapel and school 
buildings had been erected on Tir Bont, one of the 
farms of the Charity Estate. The school provided an 
accommodation for 150 poor boys and 100 poor girls 
of the Parish of Gelligaer. The clergyman, who oiti- 
ciated in the chapel, was granted a stipend of £150 a 
year. The schoolmaster was granted a stipend of 
£120 per year, and the schoolmistress a stipend of 
£60 per year. The scheme provided for an Infant 
School, with a mistress at £50 per year, but this was 
never carried out. 

Howell's School at Llandaff. (Vide topog. of 

CowBRiDGE Grammar School. (Vide topog. of 

desire for Higher or University Education became a 
popular movement among the Welsh people between 

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the years 1862 and 1872. This movement was under 
the fostering guidance of Cymric patriots like the 
late Sir Hugh Owen, who after much anxious labour 
succeeded in creating a new era in the history of the 
Principality. The University College of Aberyst- 
wyth w^as the consummation of these preliminary 
-efforts. It was founded in 1874 bv the voluntary 


offerings of the great mass of the j)eople themselves, 
aided by the generous support of a few of our leading 
colliery proprietors in Glamorgan. 

It may be of interest to the present generation of 
Olamorgan folk to know that when Dr. Nicholas, the 
author of the " History and Antiquities of Glamor- 
gan," visited the county as a propagandist of Higher 
Education, he was oft'ered by Dr. Nicholl-Carne, of 
8t. Donat's, as a free-gift, for the erection of a Uni- 
versity College for South Wales, the ancient monastic 

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buildings of Llantwit Major, together with six acres 
of freehold land. What a grand opportunity that 
would have been to combine and affiliate the hoary 
past with the go-ahead present — ^the age of Dewi, 
Dyfrig, Padrig, and Samson with the utilitarian 
epoch in which we live. The desire, however, to 
establish one central college for the whole of Wales, 
and the purchase of the noble pile at Aberystwyth in 
1872, prevented the acceptance of the Llantwit 
Major site, in many respects, and especially in the 
history of Welsh culture, the most interesting in the 

Fi'om the opening of the College at Aberystwyth in 
1874 the progress has been most marked. A deep 
and spirited educational enthusiasm has taken hold 
of our country — an enthusiasm which has been 
fostered by the revival of true national feeling. This 
showed itself in an earnest desire for State-aided 
University Colleges. The Government, in deference 
to this patriotic spirit, appointed a Departmental 
Committee in 1880, under the chairmanship of the 
late Right Honourable Lord Aberdare. The outcome 
of the enquiry was the establishment and endowment 
of two undenominational University Colleges, in 
addition to that at Aberystwyth. These were placed 
at Bangor and Cardiff. 

The University of South Wales and Monmouth- 
shire, as the one at Cardiff is designated, was opened 
in 1883, and received its Eoyal Charter of incorpora- 
tion in 1884, which specifies its objects in the follow- 
ing terms: — " To provide such instruction in all the 
branches of a liberal education as may qualify resi- 

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dents in the six counties of South Wales, and in the 
County of Monmouth, and elsewhere, to take degrees 
in Arts, Science, Law, and Medicine, at the Univer- 
sity of Wales (whenever such University shall have 
been constituted), or at any of the Universities of the 
United Kingdom ; to give such technical instruction 
as may be of immediate service in professional and 
commercial life; and, further, to promote higher 
education generally by providing for persons, who 
are not matriculated students, instruction in the 
form of lectures, combined with class teaching and 
examining, at such places and in such subjects as 
shall be determined." 

The progress of the College since 1883 has been 
remarkable, notwithstanding its location in tem- 
porary premises, viz., the buildings formerly used as 
the Glamorganshire and Monmouthshire Infirmarj^. 

The Faculties of Arts and Science were instituted 
at the opening. Through the munificence of the 
Drapers' Company, London^ chairs were founded in 
Engineering and Mining in 1890, whilst a lecture- 
ship in Geology was also created. In the same year 
tjie Department for the Training of Teachers in 
Elementary Schools was instituted, as also the South 
Wales and Monmouthshire Training School oi 
Cookery and Domestic Arts. The Schools of Science 
and Art, formerly managed by the Free Library and 
Museum. Committee, were taken over by the Council 
of the LTniversity College. The Science and Art 
Schools formed the basis for the new Technical 
School established under the Technical Instruction 
Act of 1889. In 1894 Chairs in Anatomy and Phy- 

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siology, and a Lectureship in Materia Medici and 
Pharmacy, were founded. 

The permanent buildings of the University College 
are in process of erection in the Cathays Park. 

In 1894 the University of Wales was established,, 
giving it power under Royal Charter to confer 
degrees. The University College of South Wales and 
Monmouthshire is one of its constituent Colleges. 

howbll's school, llandaff. 

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Aberavan, or Aberafan (population: 7.653) is. 
named after the river Afan, at the mouth of which 
it is situated. It commands a wide stretch of beauti- 
ful beach, on the shores of the Bristol Channel,- 
v/hich is now extensively patronised in the summer 
months, and has come to be recognised as the finest 
and safest foreshore in South Wales. It consists of 
delightfully clean sand, without any admixture of 
pebbles or stones, and extends to the westward for a 
distance of over three miles. 

A great attraction has been added to the place by 
the erection of the splendid Esplanade, which wa& 
completed along the sea-front in the year 1902, to- 
gether with the magnificent new Promenade Pier, 
which stretches seawards, a distance of 1,720 feet. 
The Corporation, aided by the Earl of Jersey in this 
last undertaking, converted the North Pier of the 
Port Talbot Railway into this pleasure promenade 
for the benefit of the summer visitors. 

The town is excellently served by the South 
Wales Main Line of the Great Western Eailway, the 
Port Talbot Eailway, and the Rhondda and Swan- 
sea Bay Railway, which, after leaving Aberavan^. 
traverses the Burrows to Swansea. This last Rail- 
way Company has a station about five minutes' walk 
from the beach, and is called the " Seaside Station." 

Aberavan is twelve miles distant from Swansea, 
and 31 miles from Cardiff, beino: situated in the 


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Tiiidst of scenery, ample in its variety. The surround- 
ing neighbourhood is famous for its Tinplate Works, 
Copper Smelting, and other industries, reaching up 
the Valley of the Afan to Port Talbot and Taibach. 

The mountains in the background retain remains 
of several structures of antiquity in the shape of 
-ancient camps, tumuli, and other British and 
Roman evidences of occupation. About four miles 
away to the east are the remains of the cele- 
brated Cistercian Abbey of Margam, referred to in 
another section of this work. 

The town boasts of privileges of very ancient date, 
in virtue of its being a corporate borough in verj' 
•early times, even as early as the year 1158 a.d., when 
its first charter of privileges was granted it by Ley- 
shon ab Morgan, Lord of Avan, which at a later 
date was confirmed to it by Edward II. In 1349 a.d. 
a more comprehensive charter was granted the little 
borough by Sir Thomas de Avan, who secured to 
the citizens, both English and Welsh, the same and 
-equal privileges in regard to grazing land for their 
flocks. Among the witnesses to Sir Thomas's signa- 
ture was Henry, the Abbot of Margam AbbeJ^ The 
town enjoyed these liberties for many centuries 
until in 1861 it was incorporated according to the 
Municipal Corporation Act of 1835, the authority 
being vested in a Mayor, four Aldermen, and eleven 
Councillors. To-day there are twelve councillors. 

It is a Parliamentary Borough, connected with the 
Swansea District Division since the Eedistribution 
Act of 1889. In former times it exercised the privi- 
lege of sending a Member to the Imperial Parlia- 

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ment conjointly with Cardiff, but before the Act of 
1889 it exercised this privilege in union with Kenfig, 
Neath, Loughor, and Swansea. 


become a conglomeration of thriving industries 
within the past 90 or 100 years. Up to the close of the 
18th Century it was famous for its growth of woods 
and forests, and it passed as a proverb that a squirrel 
might easily spring from tree-top to tree-top, from 
Mountain Ash, along the ridge of Cefn y Cynghor 
to the Vale of Neath, a distance of twelve miles. 
John Leland, in his Itineraries, temp. Henry VIII., 
speaks of the Forest of Llwydcoed, a famous one in 
those days, but which has disappeared since the 
period of iron-smelting, when charcoal was the chief 
constituent used in the smelting of the ore in these 

When Malkin visited Aberdare in 1802, it was 
only a very small and insignificant village, consist- 
ing of but a few houses, whilst the whole parish did 
not number more than 1,4B0 inhabitants. Now it is 
B, town of considerable importance, with 43,365 
inhabitants, having collieries and iron-smelting 
works upon all sides. 

In union with Merthyr Tydfil from the time 
of passing the Eeform Act in 1832, until 1867, it was 
-entitled to send a representative to the Imperial 
Parliament. Since the latter year the two towns 
send two Members to Parliament. It was for these 
United Boroughs that the late Mr. Henry Richard, 
irilliant Welshman and Secretary of the Peace 

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Society, sat as its representative until his death. 
Aberdare possesses an important weekly market. 

Starting at the head of the Valley, four miles 
above Aberdare, we have Hibwaun, a mining 
village of large dimensions, having several large 
iron furnaces.- The name of the place was originally 
applied to the large common — Yr Hirwaun — in the 
neighbourhood, which was presented for the common 
welfare by Gwrgant, the father of lestyn : the latter 
was the Prince of Morganwg, who invited the Nor- 
mans in the 11th Century to assist him in opposing 
Rhys ab Tewdwr, Prince of Deheubarth. Ehys was 
slain after a severe conflict in the year 1093. There 
are names in the neighbourKood which commemo- 
rate this great battle, viz., Maes y Gwaed, in the 
centre of Aberdare Town, Y Gadlys, Ehiw yr 
OcHAiN, Bryn y Baneri, and Gwaun y Rhwyfau 
The Common appears to have remained a free 
common for several centuries after the Norman 
Conquest. But little by little, in subsequent 
ages, the Earls of Pembroke, lords of Gla- 
morgan, secured possession of it, and it then 
descended without much opposition to descendants of 
this aristocratic family, now represented by the 
Marquis of Bute. 

The Common commenced to be enclosed in the 
early part of the 17th century. The Aberdare Public 
Park of 49 acres, was at one time a part of the 
historical Waun-hir; it was opened in 1869. 

A little below Hirwaun stands Llwydcoed, on the 
left or east side of the Cynon Valley. It has Llwyd- 
coed House, a famous and handsome residence. This- 

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industrial centre has several iron furnaces and coal 
mines. Here was started the first important iron- 
works in the valley, in the year 1799. The Abernant 
smelting furnaces were started in 1800, and cam<) 
into possession of Richard Fothergill, the great iron- 
master, in 1819. The Gadlys Ironworks came into 
operation in 1827, while in 1850 the tinworks at the 
same place was started. In 1868 another tinworks 
was founded about half-a-mile above the latter place. 

The working in level coal was commenced 
about the middle of the 18th Century. It 
appears that the only use made of this coal was 
in connection with the kilns of the flour mills, in 
which the corn was baked by the millers before 
being ground at the mills. The period of the sinking 
of pits and the working of the steam coal com- 
menced in 1837. Since then more than forty impor- 
tant collieries have been opened. 

Opposite Llwydcoed, on the right bank of the 
Cynon, stands Cwmdare, another mining village: 
while nearer Aberdare is Tbecynon. Below Aber- 
dare we pass on the right side of the valley Aber- 
AMAN, with Aberaman House, once the residence of 
the historic family of the Matthew's, then of Bacon, 
the ironmaster; and afterwards of Crawshay, 
the great iron-king of the past century. 
Before reaching Mouj^tain Ash, with its popu- 
lation of 31,093, we pass the residence of 
Lord Aberdare, — DuiBFryn House, long associated 
with the first lord wJio played such an 
important part in the educational life of Wales. 
Then we enter the thriving and busy Penrhiw- 

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CEiBR, with its valuable collieries. And a few miles 
lower down the valley we arrive at the junction of 
the Cynon with the Taff, now called Abebcynon, 
which has become a populous and industrial centre. 
This was foruierly known as Navigation, the first 
terminus of the Glamorgan Canal. 

The population of the whole Cynon Valley has 
now attained the great total of 87,000 inhabitants. 

The valley is served by the Taff Vale Eailway, 
which was opened in 1846 ; and the Great Western 
Railway, which is the line of communication be- 
tween Pontypool and Swansea, and was originally 
known as the Vale of Neath Eailway, constructed 
in 1851. 

BARRY (27.030 population) is an example of one 
of the most marvellous growths among the modern 
towns of this wonderful land of commercial pro- 
press. It has sprung into existence almost " mush- 
room " fashion, in the short space of less than two 
decades. From a few rural hamlets scattered here 
and there, within a compass of some three or four 
miles, it has leaped to the front rank of the great 
coal-exporting ports of the country, and at its pre- 
sent rate of progress it will soon outstrip the mother- 
port of Cardiff in its coal shipments, though at the 
present time its shipments are calculated in the 
national statistics under the older port. Of the coal 
tonnage registered under the " Port of Cardiff " last 
3^ear, Barry lays claim to over nine million tons. 

Twenty years ago there was no Barry Dock to 
attract the attention of the whole commercial world ; 
but by the construction of its splendid docks, the 

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BARRY. 85 

most capacious in existence, known as Barry Dock 
No. 1, having a length of nearly two miles, it boasts 
of a quayage of 10,600 feet and a total acreage of 73 
acres. This and Dock No. 2, with its area of 34 
acres, have their network and ramifications of hun- 
dreds of miles of railway sidings in connection with 
the Barry Eailways. Every facility is afforded to 
bring down the enormous wealth of the two 
Rhonddas and Rhymney Valleys, to be shipped at 
this new port. Therefore, it is easy to form one's own 
judgment as to how this magician-like town of 
nearly 30,000 inhabitants, with its wide and aristo- 
cratic streets running in every direction, has 
acquired its enormous growth. The largest ships 
afloat are able to enter these docks at all states of the 
tide, and to load at the minimum of delay. They 
afterwards leave, conveying their huge cargoes of 
the richest and best steam coal in the world to the 
ports of the Mediterranean, to the Admiralty ports 
of the Great Powers of Europe, as well as to those of 
the smaller Powers, and to the great countries of the 
continents of Asia and South America. 

Barry is situated in the Hundred of Dinas Powis, 
about seven miles distant from Cardiff. In its 
administrative affairs it is governed by a District 
Council, whilst the education of its inhabitants 
in Primary, Secondary, and Technical knowledge 
has recently been incorporated in an Education 
Committee of the Council, and approved by the 
Board of Education under the New Education Act 
of 1902. 

Fifteen years ago the spot upon which the town 
is situated was visited for recreative purposes, and 

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for the enjoyment which was to be obtained on the 
anciently-famed Barry Island, now no more an 
island since the construction of .the docks. The 
beautiful stretch of sand in Whitmore Bay is at pre- 
sent an unfailing centre of attraction as a health 
resort and for bathing purposes. Its excellent stretch 
of hard, compact sands, and pebbles, of about half-a- 
mile compass, from Nell's Point on the east to Friar's 
Point on the west, never fails to draw thousands 
daily during the summer and autumn seasons. 

The Ancient Barry Castle stands a little to the 
west of the town, and near to the entrance of Porth- 
kerry Park. This was an old Norman Castle, erected 
by Sir Gilbert Humphreville in 1092 a.d. 
Sir Gilbert was one of Fitzhamoh's Knights, 
to whom was assigned this part of the county 
of Glamorgan after the conquest. Leland says 
of it: — "The castelle standeth on a little hill, and 
most of it is in ruinne. Master S. John of Bedford^ 
shire is lord of it. Maurice St. John, uncle to Sir 
John S. John, was owner of it." In the present day 
it consists of a few small ruined walls, and has 
always been recognised as an appendage to Fonmon 

In 1895 Mr. John Storrie, the famous archaeo- 
logist and antiquary, was employed by the Town 
authorities to search for any remains of antiquity in 
the neighbourhood, that they might be preserved 
before the land was let for building purposes. The 
most important finds made by him was that of St. 
Baruch's Chapel on the Island, and the remains of 
an early Abbey. Of the latter he says: — 

" A visitor going to see the old chapel and other 

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BARRY. 87 

buildings lately found on Barrj' Island, must 
not expect to find masonry rivalling the 
majesty of Tintern Abbey a4s a ruin, or West- 
minster Abbey as a House of Prayer, or their 
disappointment is likely to be great, but they 
will be rewarded in another way, because 
they will see, imperfectly it is true, but at the 
same time better than can be seen at the 
above-named places, the very rude conditions 
and surroundings under which the light of 
Christianity and civilization was kept alive 
during a very dark age in Britain, that is, the 
period between the Roman evacuation of 
Britain and the Norman Conquest.'* 

About two miles to the Avest of the town stands 
PoRTHKERRY, aucicutly written Porth Ceri, from 
Ceri ab Caid, King of Essyllwg, who is said to have 
lived here before the advent of the Christian period. 
This ancient little place stands on the seashore. It 
holds an eminent place in Welsh Annals, from the 
fact that it is generally agreed that the Normans 
landed here, upon the invitation of Einion ab CoU- 
wyn in 1093 a.d., to assist lestyn ab Gwrgant, 
Prince of Morganwg, against his old adversary, 
Rhys ab Tewdwr, Prince of Deheubarth. The lolo 
MSS. has preserved the following record, which 
appears to have been copied from the book of Sir E. 
Mansel, who lived circa 1584: — 

" They came to land at Porth Ceri, where there 
was at that time a good haven for ships, 
before the rock fell, in the time of my grand- 

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This Ceri ab Caid, or, to give him his full title, 
Ceri Hir Lyngwyn, i.e., Ceri '* of the extensive 
navy," is said to have had a bard whose attention 
seems to have been turned to maritime affairs. Triad 
91 records: — " Corvinwr, the bard of Ceri Hir 
Lyngwyn, is said to have been the first who made a 
ship with a sail and a helm, for the race of the 

Bridgend (population: 6,062} is a market town 
of some importance, on the main line. South Wales 
section, of the Great Western Eailway from Severn 
Tunnel to New Milford. It lies twenty miles to the 
west of Cardiff, and is 26 miles from Swansea. The 
Llynfi and Ogmore Valleys Eailway has its ter- 
minus in the town, having traversed the mining 
valleys from Maesteg, Nant-y-moel, and Gilfach 
Goch respectively, bringing down the coal, iron, and 
tin products of their mines and furnaces to be con- 
veyed to the shipping ports of Barry, Port Talbot, 
and Cardiff. 

The town stands on either bank of the Ogwr River, 
which divides it into the two townships of Oldcastle, 
on the left bank, and Newcastle on the right bank. 
The Ogwr enters the Bristol Channel five miles 
below the town. In its administrative and local 
affairs it is governed by a District Council. 

The industries of the place consist of quarrying 
for stone in the limestone and sandstone quarries, 
the Quarella Quarry of the latter rivalling the Bath 
stone in its quality. Many find eniploj^ment in the 
iron foundries, saw mills and timber-yards. 
An attempt was made in the closing years 

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of the 18th Century to start woollen factories, 
with machinery of the type of Cartwright and Ark- 
wright. This came to grief at a very early stage of 
its career. Malkin, the learned antiquary, rejoiced 
at its failure, because, as he said, it was an 
attempt to destroy the woollen industry at the homes 
of the peasantry themselves, where with shuttlecock 
and battledore they plied their own hand-looms in a 
prosperous fashion. 

About a mile-and-a-half to the north of the town, 
stands the Glamorgan County Asylum, which was 
opened in 1865. It has accommodation for 600 
patients. In 1896 a new structure was erected at 
Parcgwyllt to contain 800 patients, to supplement 
the requirements of the original establishment. 

Upon either side of the Ogwr there are remains of 
two very old fortresses; the one in the Oldcastle 
township is probably the older of the two, and is con- 
sidered to have been feudatory to Coity Castle. It is 
conjectured to have been built by Sir Simon Turber- 
ville, son of Sir Payne Turberville, who became pos- 
sessed of Coity Castle in the 11th Century in virtue 
of his marriage with Assar, the daughter of Morgan 
ap Meurig, of the line of lestyn ap Gwrgant. Mor- 
gan was lord of Coity before the coming of the 
Norman. The New Fortress, situated on the brow of 
a hill in the Newcastle township, is also thought to 
have been built by one of the Turbervilles. The only 
remains of this castle are a gateway, remarkable for 
the elegance of its pointed arch, and the ruins of a 
wall which encloses the site. But little is known of 
either of the two fortresses. 

Bridgend is specially fortunate in being sur- 

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rounded by remains of antiquity and those of the 
Early MediaBval Period. Of the former there is on 
the hill above New House, an ancient seat of the 
Price family of this neighbourhood, a spacious 
British Encampment, one of the largest remains of 
its kind in the country. It is in a fair state of preser- 
vation. A little to the south of Laleston there are 
some remains of an ancient Cromlech, which, 
unfortunately, is now in a ruinous condition. 

Of the remains of the Early Mediaeval times, there 
are those of the famous Ewenny Priory, about two 
miles to the south of the town; Ogmore, or Ogw^r 
Castle, the adopted home of the Londres, situated 
three miles to the south-west; and Coity Castle, 
about two miles to the north-east. 

Briton Perry ^population: 6,973), the port of 
Neath, is situated on the river Nedd, about two 
miles to the south of this town. It is served by the 
main line of the South Wales section of the Grreat 
Western Eailway, and is encompassed by several 
large industries, which afford employment to nearly 
three thousand artisans, e.g., '* The Briton Ferry 
Steel Works," which manufacture steel for tin- 
plates, " The Ferry Reconstruction Iron Works," 
" The Villiers Tinplate Co.," " Gwalia Tinplate Co.," 
'' Wern Tinplate Co.," '^ Baglan Bay Tinplate Co.," 
" Vernon Tinplate Co.," and *' The Cape Copper- 
smelting and Chemical Works." 

It is lOJ miles distant from Swansea, and 85 miles 
distant from Cardiff. The old Welsh name of the 
place is Llansawyl. In old maps it is designated 
Berton Ferry, a name supposed to have been given it 

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ill inediaBval times by the Flemish who settled in 
Oower, and probably in these parts. The appella- 
tion Ferry is derived from the custom from im- 
memorial times of crossing the mouth of the river 
by ferry in order to communicate with the road 
along the shore leading to Swansea. In 1188 a.d., 
Giraldus Cambrensis makes reference to this 
^* Ferry " upon the occasion of the visit to South 
Wales of Archbishop Baldwin to preach the Second 
Crusade. He says that Morgan ab Caradog, Lord of 
Aberafan, met the Archbishop and his retinue at 
Margam, and escorted them across the bay in boats, 
when they were nearly drowned by being driven on 
the sandbanks of the Crymlyn Burrows. 

In later times the author of the " Beauties of Eng- 
land and Wales '* writes of this place: — 

** Nature and art seem to act as rivals. Nothing 
can exceed, on an equal scale, the variety and 
beauty of the landscape presented by this 
delightful spot. The ground is broken into 
knolls of gentle elevation, in some places 
clothed with rich herbage; in others covered 
with luxuriant forests of oak, which occa- 
sionally spring out of the rocky precipices 
that defend them from the sea, and stretch 
their roots into the water that flows under- 

There was built in this lovely spot by the Mansells 
of Glamorgan a beautiful Mansion House early in 
the- 18th Century, which descended with the estates 
by marriage to the family of the Earl of Jersey. 

When the Vale of Neath Canal was opened in 1797 

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A.D., and the coal produce of the Xedd Valley was 
brought down to be shipped at the wharves near its 
terminus, the effect of such change, with the clamour 
of the canal men, destroyed the seclusion of the 
residence as a manorial structure. Consequently, 
the old mansion was sold or leased to a gentleman of 
the name of Leach, who opened it as a Private 
Lunatic Asylum in 1842, and as such it remained 
until the opening of the County Asylum at Bridgend 
in 18G5. 

With the establishment of various and numerous 
industries in the neighbourhood, the place has made 
rapid strides in point of population; from a small 
village of 155 inhabitants in the year 1782, it now 
has a population of nearly 7,000. 

The administrative affairs of the town are man- 
aged by an Urban District Council, elected every 
three years. 

Caerphilly i population, 15,835) is situated near 
the eastern border of the county of Glamorgan, about 
twelve miles to the north of Cardiff. The name takes 
us back to the 13th century ; previous to that time it 
was known as Senghenydd (Sant Cenydd), the name 
of the surrounding district at the present day. Caer- 
philly is a designation which has puzzled the 
learned, and no satisfactory interpretation has yet 
been given of the name; but Dafydd Morganwg 
states that when Cenydd removed to Gower in the 
8th Century he left the monastery or college which 
lie had established at this place to the tutelage of his 
son Fill It is said that Fili erected a strong wall 
or fortress around the monastery or college, and that 
that was the Caer Fill 

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The town is served in its communication with the 
neighbouring districts by the Rhymney Railway, 
which passes through from Cardiff to Rhymney ; and 
by the Pontypridd and Caerphilly Railway from 
Newport to Pontypridd. The recent increase in the 
population of the town and neighbourhood is to be 
attributed to the working of the coal in the Aber 
Valley, and at Llanbradach. 

There are some woollen factories and a large tan- 
yard in the town ; the Rhymney Railway Company's 
engine sheds and carriage works, recently estab- 
lished here, afford employment for several hundred 
men. Its cheese market enjoys a reputation which 
is second to none for the prime quality of its cele- 
brated Caerphilly cheese. About two miles from 
the town is the famous PwU-y-pant Quarry, opaned 
in 1867 for the purpose of raising stone for the con- 
struction of the quay walls of the Cardiff Docks. 

Caerphilly, in the 17th century, was famous for 
its iron-smelting furnace, the site of which was about 
a mile to the north-east of the town, near the old 
manorial residence of " Geneu'r Glyn." The fur- 
nace was owned by the Morgan's of Tredegar, and 
appears to have been worked as early as the year 
1680, A.D. In 1694 the joint owners were John 
Morgan (Tredegar), Roger Williams, and Roger 
Powell; the last-named gentleman lived in the 
palace of Geneu'r Glyn. The furnace was re-built 
upon a new plan in the year 1787, and produced 508 
tons of iron per annum. Previous to that time 200 
tons was considered a huge annual output. The 
Hirwaun furnace, it is recorded in 1666 a.d., pro- 
duced only one ton per week. 

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Near Caerphil\% on the old Newport road, is the 
old manor residence of The Van, or ** Y Van 
Fawr," now an absolute ruin. This was the manor- 
house of the Lewis family, a famous Glamorgan 
stock, descendants of the Welsh chieftain Ivor Bach, 
of Castell Coch. The only remains of this famous 
old residence of the early part of the 16th century 
which stand fo-day are tne cater shell of the walls. 
These vestiges show it to be a building of the Eliza- 


bethan age; the hewn stones of the doorways and 
windows are evidentlv parts of the spoils ol the 
ancient castle. 

There is a curious old dovecote situated in the 
middle of the field at the rear of the Manor-house. It 
is in a perfect state of preservation, and is in the 
form of a round tower of immense size, with thou- 
sands of little port-holes as a means of ingress and 
egress for the pigeons, which appear to have been 
kept here years ago. 

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The Castle — Caerphilly derives its fame from 
the celebrated old castle, which occupies such a com-^ 
manding situation on the undulating plain. The 
structure bears internal evidence of having been 
erected sometime in the 13th century, probably in 
the reign of Henry III. The style of its architecture 
is a combination of the Early English (1189-1307 
A.D.), and the Decorated style (1307-1327 a.d.), at a 
time when the Decorated style commenced to super- 
sede the Early English, so that the probable 
period of its erection would be about the latter half 
of the 13th century. The Castle is referred to under 
date 1272 a.d., as having been " lately erected " by 
Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Gloucester; this is the 
period when it is supposed to have derived the name 
Caerphilly. The '' Brut y Tywysogion," under 
date 1270 a.d., records : — " In that year Llewelyn ab 
Grufifydd took the Castle of Caer-Filu " ; it wa& 
then in the possession of Gilbert de Clare, "the 
Red," Earl of Gloucester and Lord of Glamorgan. 

The old name previous to this was Senghenydd,. 
and according to Caradoc of Llancarvan, the 
monkish annalist, there was a monastery founded 
here at a very early period by Cenydd. Caradoc 
states: — 

** In the year 831 a.d. the Saxons of Mercia 
came unexpectedly bj^ night, and burnt the 
monastery of Senghenydd, which stood on a 
spot where there is now a castle." 

The district of Senghenydd was the territory which 
Robert Fitzhamon granted to Einion ab Cadivor ab 
CoUwyn and his descendants, after the defeat of 

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lestyn ap Gwrgant in 1093, to which Einion had so 
greatly contributed by his treacherous conduct. 
When the estates of Fitzhamon descended by succes- 
sion and marriage, in the 13th century, into the 
hands of the powerful De Clare family, Senghenydd 
was then in the possession of the descendants of 

Henry II., having passed through South Wales in 
1171 A.D., on his way to Ireland, returned the same 
way the following year. He then received the Welsh 
princes at Gloucester, where they came to do him 
homage. Among these princes was Gruffydd ab 
Ivor Bach, of Senghenydd, who had married a sister 
of Rhys ab Gruffydd, prince of Deheubarth, and 
King's Justiciary of South Wales. Giraldus Cam- 
brensis, in 1188 a.d., states that Gruffydd ab Ivor 
Bach was a direct descendant of Einion ab 
Collwyn, and that he was besieged in Castell Coch 
by Gilbert de Clare. Gilbert having succeeded in 
capturing the Castle, is said to have caused the eyes 
of Gruffydd, with the eyes of his children, to be put 
out, previous to their being starved to death. 

In 1215 A.D., the Beut records that the Castle of 
Senghenydd was burnt down by the garrison of 
Reginald de Breos, who, " thinking it fruitless and 
to no purpose to oppose Rhys ab Gruffydd ab Rhys, 
otherwise known as Rhys Fychan, burnt it." 

When Llewelyn the Great, Prince of Gwynedd, 
over-ran South Wales in 1217, he captured the 
castle of " Seinhenyd," and gave it to his son-in 
law, Reginald de Breos, who was married to his 
daughter Gwladys. De Breos, in the meantime, had 

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made a secret treaty with Henry III. Llewelyn, 
hearing of it, again came south to punish De Breos ; 
the latter, deeming prudence the better part of 
valour, submitted to his father-in-law and received 
forgiveness. The castle of Senghenydd was then 
restored to De Breos, who entrusted it to the custody 
of Rhys Vychan. 

How the De Clare family came into possession of 
the lordship of Senghenydd in 1270 is not quite clear. 
We must not forget, however, that De Clare exer- 
cised great influence at Court. He was son-in-law to 
the King, Edward I., having married his daughter, 
Joan of Acre. Upon De Clare's death, in 1295 a.d., 
his territories and possessions fell to his son Gilbert, 
then a boy of five years of age. In 1314 a.d. this 
Gilbert was slain on the field of Bannockburn, fight- 
ing for the unfortunate Edward II. The vast estates 
of the De Clares then descended to his three sisters as 
co-heirs, the eldest of whom, Eleanor, married Hugh 
le Despencer the younger, and who in her right be- 
came possessed of tne lordship of Glamorgan. 
Despencer thereupon seized upon the castle of Caer- 
philly. The barons were so enraged at the seizure of 
the castle and estates pertaining thereto that they 
made an effort, by the aid of a large army, to retake 
them for Mortimer. But it remained in the hands of 
Despencer for some time longer. 

The period of the occupation of Caerphilly Castle 
by Hugh le Despencer is, perhaps, the most interest- 
ing and the most fateful of its existence. It is 
generally agreed that Despencer considerably en- 
larged the structure, and embellished it with decora- 


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tions, making it a fortress of unusual strength. To 
the period of its' occupation by Despencer is to be 
attributed the fabulous tales concerning its ample 
capacity, and the stores of provisions and animals 
which were stowed away in its courts preparatory 
to undergoing the siege which befell it when Queen 
Isabella and the barons pursued the unfortunate 
and belated Edward II. 

Despencer, aware of the turn affairs were 
taking in the country against the King, spared 
neither cost nor pains in making his castle of such a 
strength that it might be able to withstand the most 
formidable and persistent attacks. Despencer ^ad 
championed the cause of the unlucky King Edward, 
with the result that he and his family had drawn 
upon themselves the ire and revenge of the barons 
and partisans of Queen Isabella. 

In 1320, A.D., the King lied to Bristol, whither he 
was pursued by the Queen's party. Despencer, the 
elder, an old man 90 years of age, was captured by 
the Queen's followers, and hanged on the outside of 
the city walls. From Bristol the King made his 
escape to Tintern, accompanied by Despencer the 
j'ounger. Here, and at Striguil, it is said he remained 
for several days, from October 14th to the 21st. He 
was at Cardiff on the 27th and 28th of October, but, 
considering himself unsafe there, he retired to Caer- 
philly. He issued writs from this castle bearing 
dates 29th and 30th of October, authorising Rhys ab 
Gruffydd and others to raise troops in his name in 
South Wales. Then on the 4th of November the 
King is found at Margam, and subsequently at 

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Neath ; from the latter place he endeavours to come 
to terms with the Queen and Mortimer, and 
despatches the Abbot as plenipotentiary to effect a 

HoUinshed records the following account of the 
King's movements: — 

** A.D. 1326 — The King in this meantime kept 
not in one place, but, shifting hither and 
thither, remained in great care. The King, 
with the Earl of Gloucester, and the Lord 
Chancellor, taking the sea, meant to have 
either gone into the ile of Lundaie, or else into 
Ireland, but being tossed with contrary 
wdnds for the space of a week together, at 
longtli he landed in Glamorganshire, and got 
him to the Abbeie and Castelle of Neith, there 
secretly remaining upon trust of the Welsh- 
men's promises. Hugoline Spencer, the sonne 
of the Earl of Gloucester, defended the Castle 
of Kersillie against the power of the Queen, 
and of her sonne, till Easter following, and 
then compounding for the safety of his own 
life, and all theirs Avithin that castle, and 
likewise for the enjoying of their goods, he 
yielded it to the hands of the men of warre 
that held siege .before it in the Queen's name, 
and of his sonne." 

The forces of the Queen were unable to make any 
impression upon this formidable fortress by their 
attacks. It is, however, considered probable by 
some authorities that the so-called " leaning tower " 
of the present day was thrown out of perpendicular 

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1 1 


by the force of a a explosion of gunpowder set in a 
mine by the attacking party, or by a series of under- 
mining at the foundations. In his reference to this 
leaning tower Dr. Nicholas says: — 

** As the castle was long inhabited after this 
attack, such a leaning tower would scarcely 
have been allowed to continue to mar the 
structure, and record the disaster, so that the 
fracture is more likely to be the result of later 
attacks, either by Owain Glyndwr or during 
the Civil War." 

The castle, with all the estates of the Despencers. 
after the death of the King became forfeited to the 
young king, Edward III. Prom the State Papers, 
however, we gather that it was restored to that 
family after the lapse of some three or four genera- 
tions. According to the 49th, Edward III., Elizabeth, 
widow of Edward, Lord le Despencer, obtained the 
reversion of the castle and town of Caerphilly, and 
the territory of Senghen5^dd, as a paii: of her dow^ry. 
She died in 1409 a.d. 

In 1403 A.D., Owain Glyndwr, in his invasion of 
South AVales, is said to have captured and gar- 
risoned Caerphilly Castle for some time. 

Among the papers of the ilarquis of Bute there 
Avas found an interesting document some years ago, 
which recorded the fact that the Castle was utilised 
as a prison in the reign of Henry VIII. Leland, in 
his itinerary, corroborates the same fact. He says: 

" In Iscaihac is Caerfilly Castle, set among 
marshes, where be ruinous walls of a wonder- 

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f ul thickness, and tower kept up for prisoners 
as to the chief hold of Senghenith." 

The Castle and Lordship of Songhenydd passed in 
succession into the hands of the Beauchamp's, the 
Neville's Earls of AVarwick, the famous Richard 
Neville being the '' King-maker." In the time of 
Henry VII. it reverted to the Crown, and was con- 
ferred upon Jasper Tudor, Earl of Pembroke, with 
the Lordship of Glamorgan. It again reverted to 
the Crown upon the death of Jasper in 1495 a.d. 
Edward VI. granted it, in the fourth year of his 
reign, to AVilliam, Baron Herbert of Cardiff, and 
Earl of Pembroke. It passed by marriage in 1738 
to the Windsor family, and subsequently by mar- 
riage to John, first Marquis of Bute, Baron Cardiff, 
in whose family it now remains. 

The following description of the structure of the 
old castle is given in Lewis's Topography: — 

** The buildings in the several courts, together 
with a spacious area, were enclosed within a 
lofty outer wall of great thickness, defended 
by square towers at intervals, between which 
a communication was kept up by an em- 
battled corridor. In the outer court was iJie 
barrack for the garrison, and from it was an 
entrance through a magnificent gateway, 
flanked by two massive hexagonal towers, 
leading by a draw-bridge over the moat into 
an inner ward, from which was an eastern 
entrance into the extensive court that con- 
tained the State apartments, by a massive 
gateway, strongly defended with portcullises, 

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of which the grooves are still remaining; the 
western entrance to this court was also over a 
draw-bridge, through a splendid arched gate- 
way, defended by two circular bastions of 
vast dimensions. 

The court, in which Avere the superb 
ranges of State apartments, is 70 yards 
in length, and 40 yards in width, en- 
closed on the north side by a lofty wall 
strengthened with buttresses, and in the 
intervals pierced with loop-holes for the dis- 
charge of missiles, and on the other sides by 
the buildings and the towers which guarded 
the entrances. The Great Hall on the south 
side of the quadrangle is in a state of toler- 
able preservation, and retains several vestiges 
of its ancient grandeur. This noble apart- 
ment was 70 feet in length, 30 feet wide, and 
17 feet high, and was lighted by four lofty 
windows of beautiful design, on which the 
ogre-headed arches, richly ornamented with 
fruit and foliage, are finely Avrought in the 
Decorated style. 

Between the two central windows are 
the remains of a large fireplace, of 
which the mantel is highly embellished in 
beautiful and elegant detail. On the walls 
are clusters of triple circular pilasters, rest- 
ing upon ornamental corbels at the height of 
twelve feet from the floor, and rising to the 
height of four feet for the support of the roof, 
wliicli appears to have been vaulted. .... 

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Near the south-east angle of the central 
building is the armoury, a circular tower of 
no great elevation; and almost adjoining is 
the '" leaning tower." This tower is eleven feet 
out of perpendicular, and is 70 feet in height. 
Near the armoury is a spacious corridor, 
above 100 feet in length, in the w^all of the 
inner enclosure, communicating with the 
several apartments, and with the guards who 
were stationed in the embattled towers which 
protected the walls." 

CARDIFF (population: 164,333), the county 
town, stands at the mouths of three rivers — the 
Khymni, Taff, and Ety. Until within the last hun- 
dred years it was a place of very insignificant 
dimensions. The population in the year 1801 was 
only 1870. Now it occupies the proud position of 
being thle first port of the United Kingdom for 
shipping cleared to foreign countries and British 
Possessions, whilst as a coal-exporting port it ranks 
as tiie premier port of the whole world. It enjoys 
the reputation of being a great manufacturing 
-centre, too. It possesses an excellent weekly market, 
and is a Municipal and Parliamentary County 
Borough, in the hundred of Kibbor, and in the dio- 
cese and archdeaconry of Llandaff. It is 170 miles 
distant from London, by the South Wales section of 
the Great Western Eailway. In the j^ear 1905 it was 
privileged to receive its charter of incorporation as a 

Prom the dawn of the last century, when the 
Olamorganshire Canal became an accomplished 

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fact, Cardiff immediately rose to the first rank of 
ports in the exportation of coal and iron f ropi Dovv- 
lais, Merthyr, and the hilly districts of the eastern 
parts of the county of Glamorgan. As the output of 
these commodities continued to increase, it soon 
became evident that the canal would not be able to 
cope with the great demands made upon it. Large 
vessels were even then obliged to take in their car- 
goes from lighters in the Penarth Roads. 

AVe have a curious reminder of the method re- 
sorted to in the early years of the last century in 


loading vessels with coal brought down by tha 
newly-made canal, in a painting made in 1833 by 
Richard AVilson, an artist of local repute, which 
may now be seen in the Cardiff City Hall. The 
painting represents the iirst tip at Cardiff, which 
was erected by Thomas Powell, the founder of the 
1*0 well Duffryn Steam Coal Company. The steam 
packet in the picture is a curiosity for these early 
days of mechanical invention. The position of this 
old coal tip is thought to have been near the gates of 

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the old sea lock of the canal : others say it was near 
the Bute shipbuilding yard on the Taff. The steam- 
boat passing the tip is the Nautilus, the first steam 
packet which plied with passengers and goods be- 
tween Cardiff and Bristol. Her landing-stage was 
somewhere opposite Alexander's timber yard. 

These meagre facilities in loading and unloading 
cargoes were in existence for several years, until 
the attention of the late John Crichton Stuart, 
second Marquis of Bute, was called to the deficiency, 
with the result that the West Bute Docks were con- 
structed on a piece of marsh land belonging to his 
lordship, to the east of the terminus of the Glamor- 
gan Canal. These docks were opened in 1839, two 
years previous to the completion of the Taff Vale 
Railway to Merthyr Tydfil. They were considered 
at that time to be one of the grandest works in the 
kingdom, and of the greatest significance because 
they had been solely constructed at the expense of a 
private individual. 

The following table will show the rapid strides 
made in coal-shipments alone at the Port of Cardiff: 

1831 ... 117,134 tons 1871 ... 2,119,438 tons 

1839 ... 145,057 „ 1881 ... 5,507,636 „ 

1841 ... 157,733 „ 1891 ... 10,345.920 „ 

1851 ... 744,192 „ 1901 ... 13,547,372 „ 

1861 ... 1,877,595 „ 1904 ... 20,405,058 „ 

A period of twelve years had not transpired from 
the completion of the West Bute Docks, when the 
necessity arose that another dock should be con- 
structed by the Bute Trustees, to the east of the 
orio;inal dock: this is known as the East Bute 

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Docks. This basin admitted the largest ships then 
afloat. Since that time other docks and basins have 
been brought int j existence, viz.. the l^xARxn Dock. 
near the mouth of the Ely River, in June, 1865, by 
a company of coal-owners and other interested 
gentlemen, who found that the then existing dock 
accommodation at Cardiff was insufficient to meet 
the demands for the steam coal of the Rhondda and 
Aberdare Valleys, the RoAxn Basin in 1874, 
and the Roath Dock in August, 1887. This Dock is 


entered from the Rooth Basin by a magnificent 
Lock, 80 feet in width and 600 feet long between the 
gates. This is the largest lock in the world. 

A new South Dock is in process of construction 
for the Cardiff Railway Company, as the old Bute 
Docks Company now call themselves. This new 
dock has a length of 2,550 feet, with a width vary- 
ing between 800 and 1,000 feet. The area of the 
dock is 50 acres, which brings the dock accommoda- 
tion at Cardiff up to 161 acres. For the protection 
of the entrance to this dock an embankment 1,800 

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feet in length has been constructed. This embank- 
ment will afford splendid shelter for vessels entering 
and leaving the docks during the easterly or south- 
easterly winds. The entrance to the South Dock is 
situated at a distance of nearly a mile from the East 
and West Bute Docks entrances. 

The gross shipments of coal at Cardiff amounts to 
about one-half of the total output of the coalfields 
of Glamorganshire and Monmouthshire. The num- 
ber of steam and sailing vessels cleared at the port 
of Cardiff for the year 1904 totalled 14,923, having 
a carrying capacity of 10.108,061 tons. If the 
exports of iron and steel, patent fuel, etc., be added, 
then Cardiff's total exports for that year amount to 
the huge total of nearly 23 million tons. 

Its importation of timber is enormous, and has 
shown giant strides, as the following figures prove. 
In 1845 the loads of timber and pitwood imported 
were 6,965; in 1906, 1,103,605. Its Timber Ponds 
are 28 acres in extent. 

years Cardiff has become an important centre 
for the manufacture of iron and steel. The 
proprietors of the famous ironworks at Dowlais 
found it necessary, a few years ago, to remove the 
greater part of their plant from that place and erect 
it upon the seaboard at the East Moors, between the 
Bute Docks and the mouth of the Rhymni Eiver. 
The preliminary opening took place in 1891. The 
old machinery, augmented by the latest improve- 
ments in new plant, enabled the Dowlais Company 
to compete successfully in the best of the world's 

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markets, against the great inroads made by the large 
American firms into the old markets in which 
British-made goods had ever held their own. The 


quantity of iron ore imported for the year 1906- 
reached a total of 905,931 tons. 

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Other new works have been opened in and near 
the town for the manufacture of various commodi- 
ties, viz., the Tharsis Copper Smelting Works, on 
the East Moors; the Tinplate Works at Melin- 
gruffydd, started about 1796; the Tin Stamping 
xVND Enamel Works on the East Moors, where every 
kind of vessel for domestic use is made, such as tea- 
cups, saucers, butter dishes, plates, cullenders, coifee 
pots, candlesticks, egg-cups, and hundreds of other 
small articles ; Cement and Lime AVorks, the total 
value of Cardiff's lime trade approaches nearly 
^30,000 per annum; Ship-building, Engineering, 
and BoAT-BuiLDiNG Yards, AVaggon Works, 
Biscuit Works, Vinegar Works, ^Erated-water 
AVoRKS, Flour Mills, Paper Mills, Printing 
Works, Steam Saw Mills and Joinery Yards, 


Brass Pounding, Cork Cutting, Enamelling 
Slate for mantel-pieces. Petroleum and Creosote 
Works, Chemical Works, Eope Works, Ice Fac- 
tories, Tanyards, Brickyards, Coarse Pottery 
Ware and Pipes, and Patent Fuel Works. 

The City proper within the past fifty years is 
marked by progress in all directions. Its long lines 
of streets, broad and handsome thoroughfares, orna- 
mented by magnificent public and private buildings 
in every part of the city, give it quite a metropolitan 
aspect. It has very appropriately been designated 
within recent years, the '* Metropolis of Wales." 

PXTBLIC BUILDINGS. — The most prominent 
public buildings are the New Municipal Buildings 
and Law Courts in Cathays Park. The former 

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has a frontage of over 265 feet, with its Council 
Chamber surmounted by a fine dome 96 feet 
high and 50 feet in diameter, culminating in 
an immense Welsh dragon. On the opposite 
side of the noble avenue are the Law Courts, 
having a frontage of 525 feet, and surmounted by 
a magnificent tower 200 feet high. The ornamenta- 
tion of the fronts of these imposing buildings is most 
elaborate and costl3^ It is proposed to erect the New 

i \ 



University College and iNational Museum in the same 
park, a little to the north of the Law Courts. The 
cost of the City Hall and Law Courts alone 
reaches a total of a quarter of a million sterling. 
The Old Town Hall in St. Mary Street contains a 
fine painting of Ivor Bach, of Castell Coch, com- 
pelling William, the second earl of Gloucester, to 
sign his own renunciation of stolen estates. The 
Free Library and Museum, the Infirmary, the Park 
KalJ, the Cory Hall, the University College, 
and the Education Offices of the Elementary 

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and Secondary Committee of the Corporation 
are imposing and stately edifices. The Free 
Library of the Borough is a fine institution 
standing in the Hayes, with its Reading Room and 
Lending Department on the ground floor. The 
Reference Department, on the second floor, contains 
a Welsh Section of over 20,000 volumes. Its MSS 
are of priceless value. This valuable collection ia 
constantly resorted to by literati engaged in special 
work. The Library has been greatly enriched 
within recent years by the acquisition of the 
'* Tonn " Library, collected by the Rees family of 
Llandovery; the Welsh MSS. collected by the late 
Sir Thomas Phillips, Bart., of Middle Hill ; and the 
large collection of Mr. David Lewis Wooding, a 
AVelsh savant of Beulah, Breconshire. Mr. 
William Scott, of Hazlewood, Cardiff, very kindly 
presented his magnificent collection of Welsh Books 
and MSS. to the Library, shortly before he died in 
1901. There are Branch Lending Libraries at 
Cathay s, Roath, Grangetown, Splotlands, and Can- 
ton. The Ancient Castle has been almost entirely 
re-built during the past thirty years. St. John's 
Church, of very ancient date, and the Market Build- 
ings, are in the heart of the city. 

Cardiff, very appropriately, may be called the 
" City of Arcades." These Arcades are veritable 
hives of retail industry in every branch of com- 
modities imaginable. They afford communication 
and short-cuts between all the principal streets in 
the business part of the city. There is a splendid 
system of Electric Light, as also a Tramway system 

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of Municipal Electric Cars, which came into opera- 
tion during the year 1902. The cars run from the 
eastern end of Newport Eoad, on the Eoath side of 
the city, to the Docks; from Cathays, in the 
north, to the centre at St. John's Square; from 
the north-west terminus of Cathedral Road, near the 
City of Llandaff, and from the western end of Cow- 
bridge road, in Canton, through the main thorough- 
fares, to the Bute Docks. 

PUBLIC PARKS.— In the matter of Public 
Parks, Cardiff appears to be well supplied. 
There is the Roath Park, in the eastern 
part of the town, which is a fine expanse of 
recreation ground of 120 acres, with its fine 
Botanical Gardens 15 acres in extent, having its 
plants and flowers labelled for the instruction and 
delight of students. The park contains a fine Lake, 
covering an area of 41 acres, where fishing and 
boating may be indulged in. Its w^ater-fowl enliven 
the surface of the water, and afford enjoyment to 
the multitudes who seek an afternoon's relaxation. 
The beauty of the lake and surrounding park is 
much enhanced by its setting among the hills and 
its outlook towards Cefn On. The Sophia Gardens, 
on the west side of the Taff River and opposite to the 
grounds of Cardiff Castle, is another favourite 
recreating resort of the city. It was laid out by the 
late Marquis of Bute as early as the year 1858, and 
then thrown open to the public. It has a total area 
of 41 acres. The Llandaff Fields are on the 
Oanton side of the River Taff; whilst the Victoria 
Park, off Cowbridge Road, affords " breathing 

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space " to the inhabitants of the west end of Cardiff 
in its 20 acres of delightful enclosure. The Cardiff 
Arms Park, of the Cardiff Football and Cricket 
Club,~ affords accommodation for over 40,000 spec- 
tators and votaries of these popular pastipies, within 
its space of 21 acres. Thompson's Park w:as pre- 
sented to the townsfolk of Canton by Mr. Charles 
Thompson. Colloquially it bears the name of Cae 
Syr Dafydd, and covers an expanse of nine acres. 


not be out of place to place upon record the appear- 
ance of the city 300 years ago, as described by a 
Olamorganshire worthy named Rice Merrick: — 
'' Within the Towne Walles are- two Parishe 
Churches. The one called St. John's being 
a faire Church, with two Ildes, standing 
upon bossed and embowed pillers of faire 
free stone : and the Chancell compassed with 
two faire Ildes. And in the west end a very 
faire Steeple of gray ashlere, with fewer 
gates of ffree-stone, very workmanly 
wrought, standing upon 4 strong pillers, 
under-propping the same : the workmanshipp 
of it being carryed to a great heighth, and 
above beautifyed with pinnacles of all skilful 
behoulders is very well liked of. It was made 
in Ano Dni . . . by . . . Hart, a Mason who 
ma,de the Tower of Wrexam, and of St. 
Stephen's in Bristow. This Church standeth 
not far from the Middle of the Towne, 

'* The other, called St. Mary's Church, which is 
of farre greater Antiquity, supposed to be of 


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soni Religion, standeth in the south-west part 
of the Towne, the yard whereof reached neere 
the Kay, to which alsoe the Inhabitants, 
before that Cardiff was enlarged, as before is 
said, were Parishioners. To this Church is 
annexed the Church or Chappell of Roth, for 


therein they have their Christening, Mar- 
riage, and Buryall. The Castle of Cardiff 
standeth within this Parish. 

"Within the towne walls were two Chappells; 
the one called the Shoomaker's Chappelle, 
being of very high building, yet standing in 

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Shoomaker's Streete; the other hard by the 
West Gate, now decayed, for a staires for the 
Castle is there made. 

" Without the West Gate was a house of black 
ff ryers, founded by Richard de Clare, Earl of 
Gloucester, and sometime Lord of Glamor- 
gan, Ano 1266. 

*' And without the North Gate, Gilbert de Clare, 
being Lord of Glamorgan, founded the Gray 
ifryers, wherein Sir William Herbert, 
Knight, hath builded a house of late. 

*' The Towne is very well compacted, beautifyed 
with many faire Houses and large Streetes. 
It is almost Square, is Quadrant but more in 
length from the South towards the North, 
then the other way* 

** In the Chief e Streete, called the High Streete, 
standeth a faire Towne Hall, wherein is 
holden the Towne Court every fifortnight. 
Adjoyning to the same is a faire Shambles 
below^ wherein Victualls are sould: And 
above, a faire great Chamber, where ye 
Aldermen and Magistrates use to consult: 
And under the Hall is the Prison, wherein 
oflFenders and mis-doers are committed, which 
is called Kwchmoel. 

*' And in the South part of the Guild Hall, in 
the middle of 4 Crosse wayes, is built a faire 
Crosse, under which and neere about, is the 
Come Markett, twice kept weekely, viz., 
Wednesday and Saturday. 

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In the High Streote, which extendeth from the 
Guild Hall northward toward the Castle, 
being a faire and wide Street, is kept the 


Markett, for all other necessaries to be sould, 
as aforesaid." 

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It is interesting to turn to Speed's Map of the 
Town, published in 1610 a.d., and collect from there 
the names of the streets in the time of James I. The 
late Mr. J. S. Corbett succeeded in locating them as 
follows:^ — 

"Extract from Speed. PreBent Name. 

Smithes Stret. Part of Queen Street. 

Shoemaker's Stret. Duke Street. 

West Stret. Part of Castle Street and part of Caistle 


Back Stret. Part of Castle Street and ground be- 

tween same and Castle -wall. 

Hummanb^-e Stret. Womanby Street. 

St. John's Stret. Church Street. 

High Stret. High Street and St. Mary Street. 

North Stret. North Street. 

Working Stret. Working Street, St. John's Square, and 

(?) Trinity Street. 

Porrog Stret {? Forage St). Wharton Street. 

Frogg Lane. Gk>late. 

St. John's Church. St. John's Church. 

Castle Lane. Entrance to Castle. 

Towne House. Removed to another site in centre of 

High Street. 

Duke Stret. Part of Queen Street. 

The Poores Reliefe. Now removed." 

HISTORY OP CARDIFF. -Cardiff is a city 
of very ancient date, but its early history is absorbed 
in the annals of its famous Castle. Ancient his- 
torians like Eichard of Cirencester and Stukeley 
speak of it as a Eoman station, and recent excava- 
tions within the grounds of the Castle have proved 
that there are some vestiges of the Eoman occupation 
in the city, besides the encampments on the Heath, 
extending towards Gwaun-Troeda and Whitchurch, 
and that on the Ehymni in the neighbouring county 
of Monmouth, and that of the Caerau, three miles to 
the west of Cardiff. 

At the base of the mound upon which the 
Old Keep stands there was unearthed the remains 

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of a fine Roman gateway, which leads anti- 
quaries to suppose that the Cardiff castruni was 
the most important military point next to Caerlleon, 
in South Wales in late Soman times. Its remains 
may certainly be accounted as among the most 
notable examples of Eoman military architecture in 
the country. 

The above authorities state that Aulus Didius 
founded a city here in 53 a.d., which the 


Romans, according to Ptolemy, called Ratostabius, 
and that the British gave it the appellation Caer 
DiDi, from its original founder, which some assume 
has become corrupted into Caerdydd, Caerdyf, and 
Cardiff. Dr. Nicholas, in his '* History of Glamor- 
gan," however, says that this derivation from Aulus 
Didius *' is a pedantic makeshift," that the name 

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proper is takea from the river on which the Caer 
stood. Leland calls it ' Caer-taphe." 

Thomas Churchyard, in his '' Worthiness of 
Wales," sings of the town of Cardiff in the following 
terms: — 

"AU ivy-pobed* around looks down 
On. Batostabius' ancient town, 
Like guardian sternly grave; " 

The nearest approach to the preservation of the 
ancient name Eatostabius that we are able to find 
is that of the eastern suburb of the town, which is 
called EoATH. 

The town, when the old castle was a great feudal 
stronghold, was circumscribed by a huge wall, 
averaging from six to eight feet in thickness, in 
which were five gateways; one gateway opened 
towards the old shipping wharf on the river, whilst 
the others were connected with the principal roads 
into the country. The author of Glamorgan in the 
'* Beauties of England and Wales," says: — ** None 
of the town gates are at present (1801) standing, but 
considerable portions of the wall, with a watch- 
tower, are preserved on the eastern side, where the 
ditch has been cleared out and used for the bed of 
the canal." 

Up to the middle of the last Century the town 
walls mentioned above appear to have been in a 
tolerable state of preservation, considering their 
great antiquity. They were in nearly a continuous 
line from North Street to the end of Mill Lane. 
Jenkins, in his '* Historv of the Town and Castle of 
Cardiff," 1854, says:— ^ 

♦ The Keep of the Castle. 

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** The Cock's Tower, a portion of which now 
remains, is situate between the east and south 
gates, and until within the last few years was 
of considerable height, when it was deemed 
expedient to take down a great portion, it 
having become so very dilapidated, and to 
prevent the occurrence of any serious acci- 
dents. This Tower is described by ancient 
writers to have been erected to defend the 
town against the danger of the sea, which is 
highly interesting at the present time, the sea 
being now nearly a mile and a half from its 
venerable remains." 


The site of the West, or Miskin Gate, may be seen 
on the Castle lawn, within the grounds of the Castle, 
having a small portion of the ancient masonry still 
IN SITU. This was the only exit from the town to 
the west, or Cowbridge Road. 

The Castle was the centre, around which the 

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ancient little town of Caer-dyf clustered in a num- 
ber of dependent feudal tenements. The old struc- 
ture is now represented chiefly by the remains of its 
ancient Keep, and the Curthose or Black Tower. 
The Keep is a spacious tower of twelve nearly equal 
sides, being about 80 feet in diameter. It stands on 
a mound 32 feet in elevation and 60 yards in dia- 
meter. The Tower is 30 feet high, from which may 
be obtained an expansive view of the town, with the 
country stretching in all directions. During the 
life-time of the third Marquis of Bute, who died 
in 1900, the entire Castle was practically re-built, 
and presents in its southern and western eleva- 
tions the impression of a structure of unusual mag- 

The interior restoration far exceeds the anticipa- 
tion and expectation of the most fastidious and 
critical taste. Every portion of the imposing 
structure exhibits enough of magnificence to satisfy 
the wealth of a veritable Croesus. In the south-wes- 
tern, or Clock Tower, we have the gorgeous suite of 
rooms glowing with artistic and beautifully coloured 
figures, especially planned and decorated as private 
apartments for the Lord of the Castle. At the head 
of the stairs leading from the Grand Entrance we 
have the spacious and lofty Banquetting Hall, with 
its carved walnut wainscotting, above which are 
beautiful frescoes surrounding the walls representa- 
tive of historical scenes in the life of Robert Con- 
sul, or Fitzroy, the first Earl of Gloucester. Pass- 
ing to the Library, we enter a magnificent apart- 
ment containing, perhaps, the finest collection extant 
of works pertaining to ecclesiastical history. These 

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were all collectetl by the late Marquis. Then we 
come to the sumptuous Private Chapel, upon Trhich 
untold wealth has bef n bestowed. The \ralls are 
lined with beautiful marble, and diapered with 
enamelled shields, upon which hang the most costly 
pictures representing sacred subjects. 

The Cattle in o\(\on iiuie< was the cynosure of all 
the Glamorgan strongholds, and that even before 
the coming of the Xormans. Here, in all probability. 


reigned several of the British Princes of Morganwg, 
and among tlieui Gwrgant and his son lestyn. the 
latter of whom bears a dishonoured name in Welsh 
annals. It is said that a prince named Morgan ab 
Khys. who preceded Gwrgant in the rule of Mor- 
gan wg. erected the first castle in Cardiff, at the com- 
mencement of the Tenth Century. 

Kobert Fitzhamon. after his defeat of Rhys ab 
Tewdwr at the battle of Hirwaun AVrgant. and his 

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^further defeat of his treacherous ally lestyn ab 
•Owrgant, on the Heath to the north of the town, 
retained the Castle of Cardiff as his permanent resi- 
•dence. It stood about midway between the eastern 
and western confines of the territory which he re- 
served for his own immediate possession, viz., the 
Lordship of Caerdyf, with the manors of Cowbridge, 
Kenfig, and Tir Iarll, extending from the Usk to 
the " rich champaign country stretching westward 
as far as Margam." Fitzhamon, when he occupied 
this stronghold, greatly strengthened it, and all 
records point to the fact that he surrounded the 
town with walls. He died at Tewkesbury Abbey in 
HOB A.D. PoAvell, in his ''History of Wales," has 
given us the following interesting record of Fitz- 
liamon's rule: — 

" The Castles of Cardiff and Kenfig, with the 
three market towns of Cardyff, Kenfigg, and 
Cowbrigge, and the Sherfee, being the body 
of the lordship of Glamorgan, and all the 
demeanes of the same, with the rest of the 
members, to wit, Miskyn, Glyn Eotheney, Tir 
larll, and Boviarton, alias Llantwit, and the 
chief seignioree of the whole, the said Eobert 
Fitzhamon kept to himself. 
** And in the said lordship of Boviarton he 
had a large grannge, or house of husbandry, 
with lands to the same belonging, that served 
him for the provision of corn to his house. He 
dwelt himself most in the said Castle or town 
of Cardiff, being a fair haven town. And 
because he would have the aforesaid twelve 
Knights and their heires give attendance 

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upon him every county day (which was 
always kept by the Sheriff in the outer ward 
of the said castle on the Monday monthly) he 
gave every one of them a lodging within the 
said outer ward, the which their heirs, or 
those that purchased the same of their heirs, 
do enjoy at this day. 

** Also, the morrow after the county day being 
the Tuesday, the lord, his chancellor, sat 
always in the chancery there, for the deter- 
mining of matters of conscience in strife, hap- 
pening as Avell in the said " Sherfee " as in 
the members; the which day also the said 
Knights used to give attendance upon the 
lord; and the Wednesday every man drew 
homeward, and then began the courts of the 
members to be kept in order, one after 

Robert Fitzhamon's successor in the lordship was 
Robert, Earl of Gloucester, natural son of Henry I. 
by Nest, daughter of Rhys ap Tewdwr. Robert 
had married Matilda, daughter and heiress of 
Fitzhamon. It is generally conjectured that 
Robert, Earl of Gloucester, re-built the major por- 
tion of the first castle according to Norman ideas, of 
which the ancient Keep and portions of the Curthose 
Tower are the only survivals. 

The Curthose Tower, sometimes called the Black 
Tower, adjoining the main entrance from High 
Street, is famous as being the reputed prison of 
Robert Curthose, Duke of Normandy, who was 
incarcerated therein by his brother, Henry I., for the 

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long period of 28 years, until his death in 1134 a.d. 
In connection with the solitary confinement of Duke 
Hobert there is usually associated an atrocious deed ; 
whether triie or not true, it generally passes for fact. 
It is said that Robert's eyes were put out upon the 
instigation of his brother, Henry I. Drayton, in his 
•" Legend of Eobert, Duke of Normandy," has per- 


petuated the record of the foul crime in the following 
rhyme: — 

"The while in GardifF, he a captive lies, 
Whose windows were but niggards of their light, 
I wrought, this Henry's rage not to suffice, 
But that he robb'd Duke Robert of his sight. 
To turn .this little piece of day to ni«rht ; 
As though that eense, whose want should be the last. 
To all things living, he the first should taste." 

During the lordship of Eobert, Earl of Gloucester, 
complaints were made to Pope. Calixtus by Urban 
(Gwrvan), Bishop of Llandaff, of the seizure 
of the lands of the Church by the Norman barons. 

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among whom the greatest offenders were Walter 
FitzRichard, Brian Fitzcount, William Fitzboderm^ 
and Robert de Chandos, all of whom were feuda^ 
tories of the Earl of Gloucester. The Earl, of course, 
was consulted in the matter, and he undertook to- 
restore the spoils of his vassals to the ecclesiastical 
authorities. A document is still extant which gives- 
the agreement between the Bishop Urban and 
Robert, Earl of Gloucester, The Earl further con- 
sented to give Urban a mill which William of Car- 
diff, a miller, had made, and a fishery in the river 
Ely, besides one hundred acres of arable land be- 
tween the Taff and the Ely, and the chapel of 
*Istumtav, and the tithes of the said village and 
various privileges. Urban on his part th^fi with- 
di'ew ail complaints against the Earl and his vassals. 

It was further provided that the curious super- 
stitious custom of the "judgment of iron/^ ije., the 
ordeal of the red-hot iron, should be carried out in 

the territory of the bishop, at Llandaff. A trench 
of judicial water was to be made in the bishop V 
land near Cardiff Castle. Wager of battle was to 
take place at Cardiff Castle, if it were between any 
of the Bishop's men, and those of the Earl's men, 
or any other man. But if it were between two of the 
Bishop's men, the matter was to be decided in his. 
court at Llandaff, and to take place there. 

Robert, the first Earl of Gloucester, died in 1147,, 
A.D. ; he was succeeded in the lordship of Glamorgan 
by his son William. Giraldus Cambrensis, who- 

♦ Istumtav is thought to be Whitchurch. 

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visited the town in 1188, a.d., records the following 
interesting episode concerning this Earl: — 

** An extraordinary circumstance occurred at 
Cardiff. The Earl had a dispute with one 
of his dependants, Ivor Bach, the lord of 
Castell Coch, a man of shore stature, but of 
great courage. Ivor was owner of a tract 
of mountainous land and woody country, of 
the whole or part of which the Earl 
endeavoured to deprive him. At that time 
the castle at Cardiff was surrounded with 
high walls, guarded by 120 men-at-arms, a 
numerous body of archers, and a strong 
watch. The city also contained a large num- 
ber of stipendiary soldiers; yet in defiance 
of all these precautions, Ivor in the dead of 
night, secretly scaled the walls, and seizing 
the count and countess, with their only son, 
carried them off into the woods; nor did he 
release them, until he had recovered every- 
thing that had been unjustly taken, and 
received a compensation of additional pro- 

It is generally understood that in addition to 
the restoration of his own land, Ivor would not con- 
sent to the release of William and his spouse, until 
he had pledged himself to restore to the Welsh in 
his lordship, their ancient laws and privileges, 
according to the code of Hywel Dda, the great law- 
giver of the Cymry. William was further com- 
pelled to agree to the following stipulations: — 

"That no Welshman should be obliged to 

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serve in aii)^ office, or to render any other 
performances or aids, but on condition that 
everyone subjected to such duties should have 
his lands in free tenure, and all his rights 
and immunities, as due to him without favour, 
by the nature of his engagement, as well as 
to , all the Welsh nation under similar cir- 

When these stipulations had been confirmed to them, 
Ivor and his men concluded a peace with the King, 
and then they returned to their habitations. This 
episode took place in the year 1158, a.d. 

Giraldus . records that Henry II, upon his return 
from Ireland through South Wales in 1172, a.d., 
heard mass in the chapel of St. Piran, at Cardiff. 
This, probably, would be the chapel of St. Ferine, 
mentioned by Leland, and shown in Speed's Map of 
-' Ye Towne of Caerdyfe," in Shoemaker Street, i.e., 
the present Duke Street. 

In the reign of Edward II, under date 1321, a.d.. 
it is recorded that Sir William Fleminge, Knight, 
Lord of Wenvoe, was executed within the precincts 
of the castle walls, on a gibbet erected in a small 
court near the Black Tower. Fleminge, it is said, 
had *' wrongfully adjudged Llewelyn Bren, of 
Senghenydd, to death," in his official capacity as 
'' Sheriff of the Lordship of Glamorgan." 

Owain Glyndwr in 1403 a.d., passed through 
South Wales upon his insurrectionary tour. He 
destroyed several of the castles of Gwent, includ- 
ing Newport and WentUwch castles, as well 
as the churches of the moors. Having passed 

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into Glamorgan, he burnt the palace of the 
Bishop of Llandaff, and destroyed the residence 
of the Archdeacon. He set fire to Cardiff, 
burning the castle and the religious houses with 
the exception of the " House of Grey Friars " in 
Crockerton Street, subsequently called Grockherb- 
town, at present known as Queen Street. Leland 
saj^s that Owain Glyndwr spared the Friars Minors, 
as the Grey Friars were called, '' on account of the 
love he bare them. He took the castle and destroyed 
it, carrying away a large quantity of treasure which 
he found therein; and when the Friars Minors 
besought him to return them their books and chalices 



which they had lodged in the castle, he replied, 
^ Wherefore did you place your goods in the castle ? 
If you had kept them in your convent they would 
have been safe.' '' 

The Franciscan Friars m Crockerton Street were 
adherents of the cause of Eichard II., who was 

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Owain's particular friend. That is why he spared 
their religious houses. This old priory stood in that 
part of Crockerton Street closely adjoining the castle 
precincts, and near to the east gate of the town. 

In the reign of Queen Mary, one Eawlins White, a 
fisherman, and an inhabitant of the town, was put 
to death by the judgment of the Bishop of Llandaff, 
for having abjured the Catholic faith and adopting 
the Protestant creed. He was confined in the tower 
of the Castle, which was called the CockmareL 
This tower, otherwise called " the Cock," stood mid- 
way between the South and il^ast Gates, near the 
town wall and on the eastern side of the Hayes. It 
was a ** very dark, loathsome, and most vile prison," 
says an old record. Here White was imprisoned for 
a period of twelve months. Though every effort wa& 
made to get him to recant, first by threats and then 
by flattering promises, he remained quite firm. He 
subsequently submitted to be burnt at the stake, 
" and with a cheerful countenance he died, that all 
men there present were in a manner astonished."* 

This occurred m the year 1555, a.d 

In the reign of Queen Elizabeth Cardiff obtained 
unenviable notoriety as a " nest of rioters and 
cut-throats." The Bristol Channel became the 
favourite resort of pirates and smugglers. It is 
upon record that in January, 1577, one John Davids, 
a justice of the peace, excused himself for not 
arresting the famous Callice, a pirate, on the grounds 
of, as he states " that Cardiff is the general resort of 

* Fox's " ActB and Monuments." 

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pirates, where they are sheltered and protected.'" 
Evidently it was difficult to collect information 
incriminating the law-breakers. Interesting informa- 
tion was given at the Town Council in April of that 
j^ear by a Fabian Phillips and a Thomas Lewys who 
had succeeded in obtaining a confession from 
upwards of 60 of the pirates and their maintainers, 
of their dealings with one another. 

In the year 1602 we are told that an active and 
brisk trade in cannon was carried on; these it 
appears were sold to the Spaniards, and are recorded 
to have been cast by one Edmund Mathews, at his 
furnace near Cardiff- 

THE OREAT FLOOD.— Th^ year 1607 was 
the year of the dreadful inundation of Went- 
Uwch and other parts of the low-lying coasts. 
Cardiff suffered terribly by this flood. It 
swept away the old church of St. Mary's, 
which stood near the head of the present street of 
that name, and according to Speed's old map, close 
to iae present series of buildings known as the 
Western Mail. An old tract of the time gives a 
vivid description of the flood, which " the like never 
in the memory of man hath ever bin seen or heard 
of." The loss of life was enormous and appalling. 
** The names of some of the towns and villages which 
suffered great harmes and losses hereby were these, 
viz., Bristoll and Aust, all the countreys along 
both sides of the Severn from Gloster to Bristoll, 
Chepstowe, Goldclift, Matherne, Caldicot Moors, 
Redrift, Newport, Cardiffe, Swansey, Laugharne, 
Llanstephan. The foundations of many churches and 

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houses were in a laaniier decayed and some carried 
right away, as in Cardiflfe, in tlie Countie of Gh»- 
niorgan, there was a great part of the church next 
the water side beaten down with the water. Divers 
other churches lie hidden in the waters, and some 
of them the tops are to be seen, and some other 
nothinge at all to be seen, but the very Tops of the 
Steeples, and of some of them nothinge at all." 

OREAT ClVn. WAR.— The town and castle 
underwent a great siege in the time of the 
Parliamentary Civil War, in the 17th Century 
The castle having been garrisoned for the 
King, was bombarded by the Parliamentary 
forces led by Cromwell in person, from a spot to the 
west of the town known as Plasturton. This bom- 
bardment was persevered in for .several days, it 
appears, but without avail. Tradition states that ii 
was afterwards taken by the treachery of a deserter 
from the castle who, on condition of receiving a 
handsome reward, offered to conduct the besieging 
forces through a subterraneous passage which led 
beneath the River Tafif. This, it is said, was per- 
formed in the stillness of the night, by means of which 
the garrison was taken by surprise, and compelled 
to surrender. The traitor having demanded his 
reward, was immediately ordered by Cromwell to be 
hung on a gibbet for his treachery. It must, how- 
ever, not be forgotten that this version of the tale 
is frequently adapted to the siege of many others of 
the strongholds captured by Cromwell, upon this 
visit of his to Wales. 

Before then, in 1642, the castle was surprised 

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by a body of Eoyalists under the command of 
the Marquis of Hertford; they are said to have 
crossed over from Minehead in a coal vessel. Thej^ 
succeeded in capturing the castle, but it was soon 
retaken, however, by the Parliamentary forces, who 
were assisted by the men of Glamorgan. The fight 
appears to have been hard and severe, lasting some 
five hours, in which the Eoyalists were compelled 
to retire with the loss of 50 of their men killed, while 
the attacking force is said to have lost only nine men. 

After the defeat of Charles at Naseby in 1645, he 
maae a stay of some months at Eaglan. During 
this time, the '* Iter Carolum " records that in July 
of that year, the King arranged to meet the Com- 
missioners of Array for South Wales at Cardiff. He 
remained there three days, but his visit was not 
productive of any satisfactory results. In about a 
fortnight he is reported to have paid Cardiff another 
visit, being accompanied by the Duke of Eichmond, 
Earl of Lindsay, Earl of Lichfield, Lord Kernwagh, 
and his regiment of guards. The King remained 
at Cardiff this time for a week, and found matters 
in a very discouraging state for the Eoyalist cause. 
It is, however, recorded that the Commissioners for 
South Wales had succeeded in bringing together 
about 4,000 men, who were to march to the relief of 
Hereford then being besieged by the Scots. Charles 
in a dispirited mood, and accompanied by 3,000 
horsemen, left Cardiff on the 5th of August, 1645^ 
intending to march northward to join Montrose. 

On the 25th September, 1645, the town and castle 
was seized by the Glamorganshire men. The castle 

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appears to have been badly defended by the 
Governor, Sir Eichard Bassett. Sixteen pieces of 
ordnance and a store of arms and ammunition were 

In 1647 we find an outbreak of the Glamorgan 
men led by Major-General Sir Henry Stradling, of 
St. Donates Castle, who succeeded in enlisting 1,000 
disaffected men to march with him against the 
town and castle of Cardiff, then in the hands of tne 
Parliament, with Colonel Pritchard of Llancaiach. 
as its Governor. A demand having been made by 
Stradling for the surrender of the castle, a long 
correspondence ensued between the rival commanders 
previous to the commencement of hostilities. Major- 
General Stradling failed to take the castle, and in a 
few days the siege was raised, and all rebellion 
against the Parliament, as far as Cardiff was con- 
cerned, appears to have vanished. 

Coming down to later times, we find the following 
references to the castle in the Duke of Beaufort's 
Progress of the year 1684 a.d,: — 

" The castle of Cardiff hath in it the coat 
armours of the twelve knights belonging to 
Eobert Fitzhamon, who gained the domination 
of the shire of Glamorgan from Justin ap 
Gwrgan, in the reign of William Euf us, where 
he kept his court monthly, and used therein 
JURA REGALIA, having his twelve knights to 

attend him they having 

their several lodgings and apartments given 
them, and their heires for ever within the 

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'' Castle Hall. — The chimney piece is formed 
of the shields and coat-armour of the said 
Eobert Fitzhamon, and of his twelve knights 
about it." 

"Black Tower The Black Tower thereof is 

famous for the imprisonment of Robert of 
Gloucester (?) who remained there for the 
space of 28 years, and had his eyes put out." 

COWBRIDOE (population, 1,202) is a small, but 
ancient borough town situated in delightful scenery 
in the " Vale of Glamorgan," on the River Daw. it 
stands twelve miles to the west of Cardiff, and has a 
good reputation for its excellent weekly market. 
The Taff Vale Railway passes through the town from 
Llantrisant to Aberthaw on the sea-shore. 

Cowbridge is one of the six corporate towns of Gla- 
morgan, and the Town Council consists of a Mayor, 
four Aldermen, and twelve Councillors. In the pre- 
sent day it is a contributory borough to the City of 
Cardiff, and has a voice in the return of a representa- 
tive to the House of Commons. 

The Welsh name of the place is Pont-faen, i.e., 
stone bridge, which, however, is a corruption of 
Pont-y-fon, the English name being the correct 
translation of its original designation in the verna- 
cular. The coat-of-arms of the borough consists of 
the representation of a cow standing on a bridge. 
There is an old tradition extant as to the circum- 
stances which led to the origin of the name of the 
place. After fho stone bridge had been built over 
the River Daw, a cow, having been chased by some 

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dogs, ran under the low arch of the bridge, and by 
some mishap its horns held it a captive 
tliat it could move neither forwards nor back- 
wards. It was found impossible to release the poor 
beast from this awkward place of shelter under the 
arch of the bridge that it became necessary to kill it 
on the spot. That, say the oldest of the inhabitants, 
is the origin of the place name : hence Cow-bridge, 


This little town is considered to be one of the 
oldest in the county. The first designation of the 
place in the vernacular is " Y Dref hir yn y Waun ' 
— (The Long Town on the Moor). This appellation 
is very appropriate to it, for it consists of one broad 
street of over a mile in length, in which stand 
the Town Hall and the Market House. The Welsh 
Chronicles state that Owain ab Cyllin, King of Essy- 
llwg, held his court here in the 2nd century. The 
little village of Ystrad Owen, three miles to the 
north, is said to have taken its name from this old 
Welsh chieftain. 

After the conquest of Glamorgan by the Normans^ 
the territory in which Cowbridge is situated, with 
the Lordship of Llanbleiddian Fawr, was given to 
Sir Eobert St. Quintin b)^ Fitzhamon. This Sir 
Robert is said to have built walls around the town 
in 1098 A.D. Leland speaks of the town as having 
three gates in his time, one at each end of the main 
thoroughfare, and one on the south. Even in the 
present day a portion of the southern wall, together 
with parts of the old gate, are still standing. 

Owain Glyndwr, in the early years of the 15th 

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century, demolished great portions of the walls, a& 
well as wreaked his vengeance upon the greater 
number of the castles of the Vale of Glamorgan. It 
is an authenticated fact that he fought one of his 
most severe battles on an open space a little to the 
oast of the town, known as Stalling Down. Tradition 
says that the battle lasted eighteen hours, and that 
Cxh-ndwr, aided by the '' Men of the hills," swept the* 
field of his Anglo-Norman enemies, inflicting upon 
them a calamitous defeat. An old manuscript col- 
lected by lolo Morganwg states that Glyndwr's 
enemies were put to flight after eighteen hours' hard 
fighting, '* during which the blood was up to tho^ 
horses' fetlocks at Pant-y-wenol, that separates both 
ends of the mountain." After this battle the spot was- 
knoAvn for many centuries as Bryn Owen. 

In the year 1537, time of Henry VIII., the town 
was, by Act of Parliament, made a municipal 
borough, and was privileged, together with Cardiff. 
Llantrisant, Kenfig, Aberavan, Neath, Swansea, and 
Loughor to send one Member to the House of Com- 
mons. Since the Reform Act of 1832 it has continued 
in the enjoyment of this privilege, Init is now, witli 
Llantrisant, a contributory borough to Cardiff. 

CoAvbridge derives considerable fame from its ex- 
cellent Grammar School, which owes much of its 
endowments to Sir Leoline Jenkins, Bart., who was a 
Secretary of State in the reign of Charles IT. It was 
at this school that young Llewelyn Jenkins obtained 
his early education, and from here he matriculated 
at Jesus College, Oxford, when only sixteen years of 
age. The Grammar School was connected by its. 

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<?rido\vments with the ancient college, and was privi- 
leged to enjoy two fellowships, two scholarships, and 
an exhibition, which were confined to young men 
educated at this seminary. The Charity Commis- 
.sioners have made considerable alteration in this 
original scheme, and the scholarships are now less 
confined than they were originally. The present 
school buildings were erected in 1847 by the Fellows 
of Jesus College. 

Dr. Benjamin Malkin, M.A., who wrote an in- 
teresting account of his tours in South Wales, in 
two volumes, resided at this tow^n for some years. 
The Parish Church contains a mural tablet erected 
to his memory. 

EENFIO, or CENFIG, is a corrupted form of 
Cefn-y-figen, i.e., " The elevated ground above the 
morass." It is situated about a mile from the sea- 
shore, having the Kenfig Burrows, or sand-dunes, 
with Kenfig Pool, a lake two miles in circumference, 
between it and the beach. It occupies a position 
about two miles to the south-west of Pyle, on the 
(rreat Western Eailway, which is the nearest 
approach by rail. The town is of small extent, 
having a population of only about 2u0 inhabitants. 

From ancient times it enjoys extensive privileges, 
and is ruled by a Portreeve, a Eecorder, and twelve 
Aldermen. In very olden times, Kenfig w^as a place 
of very great importance in Morganwg, being one of 
the principal residences of the princes and lords of 
the district. The Brut says that the town was 
attacked by a strong force of Saxon sea-rovers in 

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893, A.D., who razed it to the ground, together with 
many other places along the Glamorganshire coast. 
It was rebuilt after this, for in the 11th century, 
Kenfig is distinguished as one of the personal posses- 
sions of lestyn ab Gwrgant. After that prince's 
defeat by Eobert Fitzhamon in 1093, a.d., the latter 
reserved for himself the lordship of Kenfig, in the 
parcelling out of Glamorgan between his knight- 

The Brut says that it obtained its first Charter 
of liberties in 11B8, a.d., from William, the second 
Earl of Gloucester and Lord of Glamorgan, who was 
grandson to Eobert Fitzhamon. 

In the year 1537, temp. Henry VIII, it was made 
a contributory borough to Cardiff, in union with 
Cowbridge, Llantrisant, Aberavan, Neath, Swansea, 
and Loughor, to return one member to the House of 
Commons. By the Eeform Act of 1882 it was made 
contributory to Swansea, in union with Aberavan, 
Neath, and Loughor. By the Eedistribution of Seats 
Act, 1889, it has been merged into the electoral divi- 
sion of Mid-Glamorgan. 

The old city was destroyed by a tremendous 
inundation of the sea, during a violent storm which 
occurred in the Bristol Channel about the middle of 
the 16th century. Leland speaks of the ruin of the 
town and castle in 1B40, and that they had been 
almost completely buried by the sand. Some portions 
of the old walls may be observed rearing their heads 
to the height of a few feet above the desert of sand 
which surrounds them. 

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LLANDAFF, the tiny Cathedral City of Gla- 
morgan, and of the diocese of the same name, is but 
a short distance from its great neighbour Cardiff. 
to which it may be properly considered a suburb. 

The place derives its name from the situation of 
ihe church or cath(»dral on the banks of the Eiver 
Taff. There is nothing of particular interest to the 
modern tourist to be seen in the old city, if we 
except the Cathedral, the ruined condition of the 
castellated mansion of the Bishops, destroyed by 
Owain Glyndwr in 1403, the Ancient Cross restored 
in 1897, in conmiemoration of Iler late Majesty's 
Jubilee, and the Howell's School for Girls, of old 

The Howell's School has an endowment of 
£6,500 a year, which was left it in 1540 
by one Howell, a native of Usk, in Mon- 
mouthshire. This gentleman was a Spanish 
merchant, who lived at Seville, and he be- 
fjLieathed to the Drapers' Company a sum of 12,000 
ducats, to buy therewith property which would pro- 
duce a rental of 400 ducats yearly for evermore. 
An interesting paragraph of this will states: — 

" That the said 400 dukats be disposed unto- 
four may dens being orphanes — next of my 
kynne and bludde — ^to theire marriage if they 
can be founde, every one of them to have 
100 dukats — and if they cannot be found of 
my lynnage, then to be given to other foure 
maydens, though they be not of my lynnage, 
so that they be orphanes, honest, of goode 
fame, and every of them 100 dukats — and 

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SO, every year, for to marry four maydens 
for ever." 
The Drapers' Company in 1543 received an instal- 
ment of 8,720 ducats, but we do not find that the 
balance of nearly 3,300 ducats was ever received. 
The Company entered into an agreement to distribute 
the rents arising from the money, to and for the 
marriage of poor maidens who were orphans. Various 
law suits were instituted against the Company for 
recovery of the money by folk, who called them- 
selves '' kinswomen of the founder," and complaining 
that the money had not been properly applied. But 
the administration of the estate remained in the 
<Dompany's hands. It does not appear that they 
were troubled with further legal proceedings until 
the year 1838, when the Attorney-General filed 
information against the Company. They, however, 
satisfied the Court that the sum of £84 was being 
annually paid to four poor maidens, but that the 
remainder of the income (£1,900 in those days) was 
<iarried to the Company's accounts. By a decree 
in 1845, it was declared that the whole fund was 
applicable to the charitable purposes of the 
will. The Master of the Eolls directed that 
^ request should be made for an Act of 
Parliament to regulate the Charity. Such Acts 
were passed in 1846 and in 1852, directing 
in the case of the latter that the money should be 
used for founding and maintaining two schools for 
female orphans, the one to be in South Wales, and 
the other in North Wales. The Howell's School at 
Llandaff is the outcome of this Act. Since the 
passing of the Welsh Intermediate Education Act 

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the School has been vested in a representative 
governing body. 

Llandaff, in Church annals, from the very 
earliest times, has ever been a place of great renown. 
It was honoured with the dignity of a chief church 
as early as the fifth century. Its first Bishop was 
Dyfrig (Dubritius), the first Abbot of the monastery 
of Llancarfan. Dyfrig was consecrated Bishop of 
Llandaff by Garmon, or Germanus, Bishop of 
Auxerre, and Lupus, Bishop of Troyes, when they 
visited this country to oppose the Pelagian heresy. 
Dyfrig was promoted to the Archbishopric of Caer- 
lleon, after a short occupation of the See of Llandaff, 
and was succeeded as Bishop of Llandaff by Teilo. 
Oudoceus was the third Bishop. 

The first structure at Llandaff was dedicated 
to St. Peter. In the 12th century, Urban 
(Gwrvan), who was consecrated bishop in 1108 a.d., 
found the Church in a most dilapidated condition, in 
consequence of the desecration and pillage of the 
Saxons and Danes at various intervals during the 
preceding three centuries; and subsequently on 
account of the depredatory habits and practices of 
the Norman settlers in their various contests with the 
Welsh princes. Urban set about the erection of a 
new structure in 1120 a.d., temp. Henry I., dedi- 
cating it to the first bishops of the diocese, viz., 
Dyfrig, Teilo, and Oudoceus, as well as to St. Peter, 
thus uniting the old Celtic traditions with the new 
Latin sentiments brought in by the Normans. 

He, further, caused the body of the saintly Dyfrig to 
be removed from the island of Bardsey, where it had 

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been buried, and brought to Llandaff. This was 
performed on Friday, May 7th, 1120 a.d., in the pres- 
ence of David, Bishop of Bangor, Gruffydd, King of 
Gwynedd, and a huge concourse of clergy and 
people. The body arrived at Llandaff on the 23rd of 
May. A large procession had been organised to 
receive the remains with due solemnity. In the 
procession there was carried the " Cross and Holy 
relics." The country, it appears, had suffered much 
from drought about this time, and there had been no 
rain for seven weeks, but on this same day when the 
remains of Dyfrig were brought to Llandaff rain 
began to fall copiously, a sign of good omen. On 
June 2nd the relics were washed in the presence of 
the Bishop Urban, Esni the dean, the canons, and 
Isaac, the Bishop's chaplain. The remains having 
been placed in three basins, the expected portents 
made their appearance, viz., the marvellous 
bubbling of the water at the touch of the relics, as if 
a great red-hot stone were thrown in ; then a bone of 
the saint's arm was seen to move of itself at the 
bottom of the water for the space of an hour. The 
relics were then placed in a tomb in the church, 
before the altar of St. Mary. 

While the work of erecting this new structure of 
Urban's was in progress, in 1188 a.d., Archbishop 
Baldwin, of Canterbury, accompanied by Giraldus 
Cambrensis, passed through South Wales, preaching 
the Second Crusade. The Archbishop and his 
retinue visited Llandaff, and Giraldus in his 
" Itinerary " thus describes the events which trans- 
pired there: — 

"'On the following morning, the business of the 

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*'r -* .> : z ^ . j " • -^- ---^i ^'^ LAandiz. 

::-- E-^-l-:. -- :. ;: «' -. -. -r _-r >:.i^- and th^ 
Vi'-^-r. :. ':.- ':.- r -._ .- -:. - in^ a shai^« 
r*:.:^ -:.-'...:', „! . :. . :.t i-r^ :is •>£ each 
:.- a'.. :. *♦'• ^ "^^ t_r — : ^» .•! '"^ rvi^ainetl there 

•' .t- r.:^r. :*:. W: .\ . . p.Nh p ;f iliat place 

:>^ \\L:L„, .i-^ ^.-:- M^rfs^o. or Salt- 
».* 1 * 'i^»i "^ ^ an 
f - .: L-i'- :Le Church, 
r T.»f. i»:.d i- -.••'^v called 


the Church uf St. Teii^eau Teilo is spelt hv 
Giraldus to >uit the Xomian-French pro- 
nunciation . funuerly bishop of that see. The 
Bishop having celebrated early mass in the 
luorning befure the high altar of the Cathe- 
dral, we immediately pursued our journey bv 
the little cell of Ewenith to the noble Cis- 
tercian monaster}' of Margam." 

It took over sixty years to complete the nave, and 

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eighty years more to restore the eastern chapel or 
choir. Of Urban's work little more is left than the 
massive Norman arch dividing the presbytery from 
the lady chapel. 

In the year 1403 a.d., Owain Glyndwr .made that 
devastating visit of his into South Wales. At Llan- 
daff he burnt the castellated mansion of the Bishop, 
as also the house of the Archdeacon. The former has 
never been restored, but the bishops of Llandaff sub- 
sequent to this for several centuries resided at 
Matherne and Bishton, in the county of Monmouth. 
Glyndwr spared the Cathedral from destruction ; in 
this he acted differently from his usual practice, for 
he had already destroyed the cathedrals of North 
AVales. His enmity and antagonism to the Church 
upon this occasion is easily explained, notwithstand- 
ing the faci that the Welsh clergy were native of tj^e 
soil ; they were, however, antagonistic to the House 
of York, of which Glyndwr w^as a keen partisan. 
Tlie only section of the Church which was partial to 
the cause of Glyndwr was the Franciscans, or Gxey 
Friars; and the houses of this religious order in all 
parts of Wales were the only ones which escaped the 
vengeance of the wrathful Welshman. 

Adam of Usk, in his records of this period of Glyn- 
dwr's ravages, states that the men of Bristol, under 
the leadership of James Clifford and William Rye, 
put out of that port with a fleet of armed vessels, and 
made a descent upon the shores of Glamorgan, think- 
ing to share in the spoils of Glyndw^r's ravages. 
They pillaged the church at Llandaff, but were pre- 
vented from carrying off any spoils, for they were 

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driven off by the country people. This success was 
at that time attributed to the miraculous intervention 
of St. Teilo. 

By the close of the 17th century the ancient pile, 
through neglect and decay, had become a veritable 
crumbling ruin. Mr. Browne Willis, in his Survey 
of 1715, writes of it: "The glorious structure has 
fallen into a most deplorable state of decay within 


these few years." Steps were then taken to restore it, 
and this proceeded for the best part of the next fifty 
years. The Cathedral authorities in their supposed 
restoration busied themselves to deface all that 
remained of the original fabric by introducing a host 
of curious incongruities, which in nowise comported 
with the ancient religious character of the sanctuary, 
as may be observed from a sketch of the interior of 
the Presbvterv taken in 1828, Plate 8, in the 

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** Account of the Cathedral," by Bishop OUivant. 
Mr. Barbour has described these alterations in the 
following scathing terms: — 

•* On the Chancel falling to decay a great sum 
was expended in raising the present church 
upon the old stock; but surely such an 
absence of taste and common-sense was never 
before instanced. Beneath the solemn towers 
has been engrafted an Italian fantastic sum- 
mer-house elevation, with a Venetian window, 
Ionic pilasters, and flower-pot jars upon the 
parapet. The same sort of window is coupled 
with the elegant line of the ornamental Gothic 
in other parts of the structure: and within, a 
huge building upon the model of a heathen 
temple surrounds the altar, which with two 
thrones darken and fill up nearly half the 

Dr. Nicholas, in his " History of Glamorgan," 
says: — '' It was well, at all events, that ruin should 
lay its hands upon such intrusive malformations as 
these." But thus it remained until me modern 
restoration was commenced in the year 1843. By 
this restoration we now have the present beautiful 
fabric, standing forth in all its pristine glory. It 
has been built upon the foundations of Urban's 
structure, which explains the absence of transepts 
and a central tower, thus giving the beholder the 
impression of its being more of a grand parish 
church than a cathedral in the proper sense of the 
term. Dr. Freeman in 1850 wrote: — 

•* Llandaff might almost pass for a village 

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cliurch of unparalleled size. With no cathe- 
dral character in any part of its exterior, ex- 
cept the west front. witJi all traces of col- 
le^ijiate buildings demolished, there is nothing 
whatever to mark its peculiar purpose. 

** I kncjw of no cathedral from which the subor- 

dinate buildings have been so completely 
removed, in which their loss is so little felt, 
probably because, as the character of the 
l3uilding does not so distinctly proclaim its 
rajik, the deficiency is not so painfully forced 
upon the eye." 
The fabric in its present form was completed in 

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1857, in the time of Dean Conybeare, who thus 
describes it in the " Archapologia Cambrensis " : — 
" The western facade of our Cathedral is a very 
beautiful and characteristic specimen of the 
transition between the later Norman and 
early pointed styles, contemporaneously with 
the age of our Richard Coeur de Lion. It 
appears to rest on the clearest evidence that 
the principal features of this new style — its 
pointed arches with its multifoil or cuspidated 
mouldings — were borrowed from Saracenic 
architecture, and first introduced by the in- 
lliience of the Crusades; and we, therefore, 
naturally associate the style so derived with 
the name of a monarch so identified with these 
military adventures. 
'* Our Western facade presents a specimen of 
this style, exquisitely beautiful, and nearly 
unrivalled for the elegance and simplicity of 
its composition and execution, and, from the 
great predominance of its pointed over its 
Norman features, seems to be a late example 
of the transition style. It is composed of 
three storeys, besides the extreme angle form- 
ing the upper termination of the pediment. 
Of these three storeys the lowest exhibits the 
great western doorway, which is Norman just 
so far as its rounded arch can entitle it to that 
denomination ; but this is supported by triple 
clustered columns with slender shafts, sur- 
mounted by capitals with long thin necks, 
overhung by protruding foliage, intermingled 
with birds, apes, and human figures, all 

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marked characters of the confirmed pointed 

It is conjectured that the Lady Chape], which is 
a beautiful example of early Geometrical Architec- 
ture, Avas the work of William de Breuse, or Bruys. 
who was bishop in 12G6 a.d. 

Tlie Chapter House is thought to have been added 
soon after the completion of the Xave section, as its 
lancet windows with foliated heads show indications 
oi a U^ter period. 

The Norm ail doorways to the north and south of 
tlie Xave bear indications of architecture of a 
Romanes(]TU^ character, before that style became 

The See of Llandaif, from its inception in the fifth 
century to the present time, has been administered 
by 92 bishops. The extent of its limits has varied in 
different ages. When Oudoceus was bishop the 
diocese of Llandaff extended from the Wye to the 
Towy. King Edgar, according to the Book of Aber- 
pergwm, settled the limits of the see in his time. He 
included within it the following divisions: — 

1. Cantref Bychan, Cantref Kidwelly, and Can- 

tref Carnwyllion, in Caermarthenshire. 

2. Go war, Gorwenydd, and Penychen, in Glamor- 


3. Gwentllwg, Edelygion, Gwentiscoed, Gwent- 

ucHcoed, Ystradyw, and Ewyas, in Mon- 

The present limits extend from the Wye and the 
^[ounow on the east, to the Tawe on the west; but 

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it does not include the town and parish of Swansea; 
its northern limit is a direct line drawn from a point 
t(> the north of Grosmont in Monmouthshire, west- 
ward to Ynyspenllwch on the Tawe; the southern 
limit being the shores of the Severn estuary. 

Of all the great bishops who have sat in the chair 
of Teilo, perhaps there is not one whose name is held 
ill greater veneration, and whose work reflects the 
greatest glory upon the Principality, than that of 
])r. William Morgan, the first translator of the 
Scriptures of the Old Testament into the Welsh 
language. Dr. Morgan was promoted to the epis- 
copal chair of Llandaff in 1595 a.d., in accordance 
with the special comnmnd of her Majesty Queen 
Elizabeth. He was the third of the series of Welsh 
Bishops appointed by her Majesty. Previous to Dr. 
^[organ there had been no Welshman in the seat of 
Dyfrig and Teilo for the long period of three cen- 
turies; consequently the Tudor Queen justified her 
Welsh extraction by doing justice to the traditions 
of the Welsh Church in the elevation of clergymen 
native to the soil who were to the manner born. 

Dr. Morgan was translated to the See of St. Asaph 
in 1601 A.D., and as an Old Chronicler has tersely 
expressed it, " to a better place " in 1604 a.d. 

Of Dr. Morgan's translation of the Scriptures, an 
eminent divine, Dr. Thomas Llewelyn, in his '* His- 
torical Account of the British or Welsh Versions 
and Editions of the Bible," says: — 

'' This gentleman, for the first time since the 
Reformation, translated, at least had the 
principal hand in translating, the w^hole Old 

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Testament, and also the Apocrypha, into 
Welsh. He likewise revised and corrected the 
former version of the New Testament, and 
had them well and handsomely printed 
together by Christopher and Robert Baker in 
the ever memorable year of 1588 a.d." 

This edition has prefixed to it a Latin dedication 
to Queen Elizabeth. 

Dr. Morgan appears to have met with much 
opposition in his translation of the Scriptures. His 
parishioners, when he was Vicar of Llanrhaiadr- 
-yn-Mochnant, in Denbighshire, preferred mean 
charges against him, first to the Bishop of St. Asaph, 
and then to the Archbishop of Canterbury. He was 
summoned to Lambeth Palace by Archbishop Whit- 
gift, who was greatly impressed by the nobleness of 
his demeanour, and was not long before discovering 
that the modest clergyman was an excellent scholar, 
quite at home with both Hebrew and Greek. This 
led the Archbishop to suspect the malicious libels 
of his accusers, and he asked him, " Do you know 
Welsh so well as you know Latin, Hebrew, and 
Greek?" *' I hope, my Lord," was the modest reply, 
" you will allow me to assure you that I know my 
mother's tongue better than any other language." 
He had at that time finished translating the Penta- 

It does not appear that Dr. Morgan was commis- 
sioned by either the Government or the bench of 
bishops to undertake the work. He was chiefly 
moved by the feeling of great want among his 
countrymen in Wales, of which he was a living wit- 

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ness, and his sole object was the glory of God and 
their salvation and good. 

While the work was passing through the press he 
resided with the Dean of Westminster, and as a 
token of gratitude for kindness received, he presented 
the Dean and Chapter with a copy of his Bible, 
which is still kept in their library. 

LLANTRISANT (11,845 population) is an ancient 
municipal borough, and occupies a commanding 
situation, from which a delightful prospect is 
obtained of the rich and fertile " Vale of Glamor- 
gan." It is situated at a distance of eleven miles to 
the north-west of Cardiff, and about five miles to the 
south-west of Pontypridd. In railway convenience 
it is served by the main line of the South Wales 
section of the Great W^estern Railwaj^ from Cardiff 
to Swansea, while a branch of the same railw^ay runs 
up from the town to Tonyrefail, and then crosses into 
the Rhondda Valley to Penygraig. The Taff Vale 
Railway runs into the town from Pontypridd, and 
then on to Cowbridge and Aberthaw. 

Llantrisant lies just within the limits of the Gla- 
morgan coal-bearing area, and there are several 
important collieries in the immediate neighbour- 
hood. Years ago large quantities of haematite iron 
ore and lead ore were raised; there is not so much 
of these commodities worked in the present day- 
Leland, in his Itineraries, refers to the Mwynddu 
mines near Llantrisant, which were being worked in 
his time, the iron ore being smelted on the spot. 
Henry VIII. in 1547 granted a charter to William 
Herbert to work the haematite iron ore. The manu- 

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factuiv of Tinplatos, Saiiitarv Pipes, and other 
forms of earthenware, employs many hands. 
Quarries of carboniferous hmestone are extensively 
worked in the neii^hbourhood. 

The town has been a contributcny borough to Car- 
diff since the Reform Act of 1882, and has a voice in 
the election of a ^lember of Parliament. 

It is a town of very ancient privileges: the first 
Cluirter was granted it in 1347 by Hugh le 
Despencer. This was confirmed, with privileges 
added thereto, at stated periods in the reign of 
Edward III.. Richard II., and Henry VI. In virtue 
of this charter of liberties it was governed by a Port- 
re(»ve. Aldermen, and a Recorder. Llantrisant for 
ii'juiy centurie^ was the cliief town of the Lordship 
of .Meisgyn, and its castle was retained as the prison- 
house of the territory. 

The Castle, which stands on the brow of the liill, 
is a structure of very ancient date, having its origin, 
according to some authorities, in pre-Norman times. 
Its erection is first attributed to Gwrgant ab Ithel, 
Prince of Morganwg. It fell into the hands of the 
Xormans after the defeat of his son lestyn, and it is 
said that it was given to the traitor Einion ab Coll- 
wyn. In I*29G we find that Cilbert de Clare, Earl of 
(xloucester, claimed possession of it. There is a tradi- 
tii)!! in the neighbourhood that Llywelyn Bren of 
Senghenydd destroyed the Castle in 1315. It is 
probable that Owaiii Glyndw^r demolished it in the 
year 1403, after which it w^as never restored. When 
Leland visited the town in 1540 it was then in ruins, 
excepting the Tower of the Raven, which was utilised 
as the prison of the Lordship of Meisgyn. 

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LLANTWIT MAJOR, or Llanilltyd Fawr (popu- 
lation 1,295), is a quaint little town near the sea- 
shore, about five miles to the south of Cowbridge. It 
may be easily reached to-day by the Vale of Glamor- 
gan Railway from either Bridgend or Barry. 

The town possesses a real old world flavour 
in the charming antiquated tenements, which 
are set at every conceivable angle to its 


roadways. All are old, some are very old, 
and a few are positively ancient. They have 
broad and low doorways, and suggest that our fore- 
fathers were men of broader girth but lower of 
stature than their slim progeny of the present day. 
The cottages, — and what is the town but a collection 
of cottages, — have their small leaded lattice win- 
dows, and very low roofs, which are mostly thatched 
Avith straw or rushes. These old-world domiciles are 

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refreshingly quaint and unconventional, and it is 
generally believed that many of them owe their 
erection to the influx of Flemings, who sought refuge 
in Wales in very early times, when their own 
country was flooded. 

In the centre of the town there stands a curious 
old building called the Town Hall, or, as the natives 
sometimes designate it, " The Old Church Loft/' 
The entrance to it is by a double flight of steps. In 
the little belfry hangs a relic much venerated. This 
is the '' Bell of St. Illtyd," of which it is said by 
Hollinshed that King Edgar, having punished a 
rebellion of the ^forganwg men, took *' the bell of 
Saint Illtyd, and hanged it about a horse's necke. 

... In the afternoon it chanced that King Edgar 
laid him downe to rest, whereupon in sleepe there 
appeared one unto him and smote him in the breast 
with a speare, by reason of which he caused all that 
had been taken to be restored againe. But within 
nine daies after the king died." 

Unfortunately for the above interesting old tradi- 
tion, the bell now hanging in the Town Hall belfry 
is regarded as not earlier than the 15th century. It 
bears the Latin inscription: — 

" Ora - Pro - Nobis - Sancte - Iltute." 

An old record tells us that a charter was granted 
the town by Gilbert de Clare, commonly called the 
Red, the second Earl of Gloucester who bore the 
name Gilbert, circa 1293 a.d., and that the first town 
hall was erected by him. 

The great attraction of the place, however, is the 

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Church and the remains of its Monastic establish- 
ment, or early 6th century university, with their 
collateral buildings, referred to in later chapters of 
this work. 

The district of which Llantwit Major is the centre 
looms large in the annals of the historic past. There 
are not many towns left standing to-day which 
carry the mind through the haze of ages to a period 
anterior to the coming of the Romans. Marie Tre- 
velyan writes: — " Llanilltyd Fawr links together 
two great factors in the advancement of human 
civilisation — the Roman Invasion and the introduc- 
tion of Christianity. It was probably the locality of 
the Druidical seminaries mentioned by Julius 
Caesar, and it claims the honour of being the site of 
the first Christian educational institution in 

The town, with its surroundings, possesses irrefut- 
able evidences of British, Roman, Norman, post- 
Norman, and Tudor times, some of which are in a 
wonderful state of preservation. A few years ago 
there was unearthed in Colhugh Street a number of 
bronze implements, proving Llanilltyd to have been 
a distinctly British village. 

In the year 1888 the ruins of a Roman villa were 
uncovered in a field known as Caer Mead. The villa 
was a fairly large one, and contained several rooms, 
in one of which was found a beautiful tesselated 
pavement, of most chaste design. The tesserae com- 
prised the blue and crystalline mountain limestone, 
dark and light green volcanic stones, brown Pen- 
nant sandstone of the county mixed with cuttings of 

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rod brick. The border was of a double fretwork 
pattern in red, white, and blue tesserae, surrounded 
by an outer line of brown stones. 

The relics found in the various rooms were of a 
most interesting character, and comprised objects of 
all sorts, such as fragments of Samian ware, shells 
of various fish, iron bolts, bronze bracelets, a fibula,, 
bronze coins of Maximinus, Victorinus, and Con- 
stantine Chlorus, roof crests, querns, and roofing 
tiles in abundance, etc. 

The most curious discovery in this villa was the 
collection of 43 human skeletons of both sexes and of 
all ages, together with complete skeletons of three 

Of the distinctly Xorman and post-Norman re- 
mains, these are to be seen in the old church and the 
castles which stud the neighbourhood. In the 
remains of the ancient Monastery Gate-house, with 
its exterior staircase and quaint porch, we find* a 
structure which is supposed to date back to the 11th 
or 12th century. Across the rugged roadway stands 
the circular pigeon-house, with its dome of 
graduated over-lapping stones, considered by 
archsoologists to be a 13th century erection. A little 
beyond may be observed the ruined remains of a 
12th or 13th century Tithe Barn, permitted to fall 
into decay after the passing of the Tithe Commuta- 
tion Act in 1835. Then in the heart of the town one 
may see an ancient Market, or Town Cross, with its 
broken shaft, said to have been mutilated by Crom- 
well's iconoclasts during the great Civil War. One 
has only to pass through the crooked and winding 

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little streets to behold the domestic residences of the 
Tiidor and Stuart periods. 

'' From an archaeological point of view," says 
!^[arie Trevelyan, " the antiquities of Llantwit 
]\rajor are almost unrivalled. It is doubtful 
Avhether it would be possible to find in so 
small a space such a large number of valuable 
memorials of bygone ages. The ancient crosses, 
carrying the mind away to the remote distance of the 


past, the church and its surroundings, the long suc-^ 
cession of domestic and civil structures dating back 
so far as the 13th century, and the whole series of 
buildings to be found in Llantwit present a most 
striking appearance." 

About a mile from Llantwit Major, in the direc- 
tion of St. Athan, we come to Boverton, celebrated as 
the supposed site of the Roman station of Bovium, on 

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the great highway — The Via Julia Mabitima — 
from Caerlloon through Glamorganshire to Loughor, 
and on to St. David's in Pembrokeshire. This place 
has been able to produce from time to time, internal 
evidence of its having been the station of the Romans 
between Tibia Amnis (Caerau) and Nidum (Xeath), 
as has been observed in the History section of this 
work. Boverton was the seat of the reguli who ruled 
this part of the territory when under Roman rule. 
In subsequent times it gave its name to the manor, 
which to this day is styled in the Court EoUs *' The 
Lordship of Roviarton." It possesses also a ruined 
old castle of very ancient date, pronounced by some 
authorities to have been one of the royal and summer 
residences of lestyn ab Gwrgant, the last native 
Welsh Prince of ^lorganw^g. 

After the conquest the control of the " Manor of 
Boviarton" was assumed by Robert Fitzhamon, from 
whom it passed to the lords paramount of Glamor- 
gan as part of the great lordship. It became vested 
in the Crown in the reign of Henry VII., who 
granted it to his uncle Jasper, Duke of Bedford. 
Then it was given to Gruflfydd Voss, whose 
daughter and heiress conveyed it by marriage to 
Roger Seys, from which family it passed in later 
times to Robert Jones, of Fonmon Castle. 

The old structure is not devoid of the spice of 
romance. In the time of King John it appears 
to have been the private property of his wife 
Hawise, the heiress to the great Earldom of 
Gloucester. Hawise was tne daughter of William, 
the second earl of Gloucester, who was incarcerated 

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in Castell Coch by Ivor Bach. King John, becoming 
i;ired of his wife Hawise, divorced her without cause 
or reason, and then married Isabella of Angouleme 
in spite of the threats of the Church and the anger of 
his barons. There came a period, however, when the . 
faithless king was perforce compelled to seek the 
refuge of Boverton again with his first wife. It is 
said that she concealed him here from the ire of the 
wrathful barons under the disguised name of Gerald 

In the vicinity and at the estuary of the small 
stream which passes through the town is the ancient 
port of Colhow, now Colhugh, where during the 
reign of Henry VIII. vessels found a convenient har- 
bour for shelter ; though now, by the changes which 
have taken place on this part of the coast, it is 
avoided by mariners as being dangerous. The 
remains of the ancient harbour are still to be traced 
in parts of the seashore. 

On the Cowbridge Road are the ruins of a cele- 
brated mansion, now designated the Old Place. It 
was a grand establishment in the early Tudor 
Period and afterwards. A little nearer Cowbridge 
we come to Llanmihangel Place, a famous old Tudor 
manor-house. It is one of the few old Welsh manor- 
touses which is still inhabited. Tradition tells us 
that Queen Anne paid a visit to this place and 
planted a yew tree there. There is a fine avenue of 
magnificent yew trees leading up to the old mansion. 
The large room of the house has a remarkable flat 
Tudor arch, bearing upon it six coats of arms. 

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About half a mile to the west of the town is the 
celebrated Tresillian Cave, or, as the natives call it, 
*' Cave of Dwynwen." It appears that this cave was 
a famous one for marriages in the long ago, and was 
then known as St. Dwynwen's Shrine, Dwynw^en 
being the British representation of the goddess 
Venus. The cave had the reputation of a 
veritable Gretna Green in the time of our 
forefathers. The parents of the great General 
Picton, of Waterloo fame, were married in 
this cave. The mother, Cecil Powell, the heiress of 
Llandow, and grand-daughter of Edward Turber- 
ville, of Sutton, appears to have been one of those 
wilful and high-spirted girls, who was determined to 
impart into her marriage as much of the romance as 
possible. She absolutely refused to become a bride 
unless Thomas Picton, the bridegroom, would con- 
sent to have the ceremony performed in the far- 
famed smugglers' cave. So the knot was duly ana 
legally tied therein. 

It is said that a subterranean passage a mile long 
leads from this cave to St. Donat's Castle. This is 
very possible, because it was famous for its deeds of 
derring-do in the long ago. This part of the coast is 
celebrated for the large number of its caverns. 

MAESTEO (population, 16,341) is situate in the 
Llynvi Valley, about nine miles from the town of 
Bridgend. It is the most populous centre of the 
mining districts of Tir larll, and was constituted an 
Urban District Council under the Local Government 
Act of 1894. Higher up the valley are the mining 
villages of Caerau, Spelters, and Nantyffyllon, 
whilst about a mile below is the Garth. 

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MAE8TEQ. 163 

The whole valley owes its development to the 
wealth of its mineral resources. Coal and ironstone 
of the richest quality are found in great 
abundance. The working of minerals was 
commenced about the close of the 18th century. 
The first iron-smelting furnaces were opened 
in 1826. New collieries and iron-smelting 
furnaces have been started at various intervals 
during the last century, so that the upper portion of 
the valley from Garth to Caerau is well-studded 
with thriving and busy centres of industry. The 
most important of these works are the collieries at 
Caerau, the Spelters Iron and Steel Works, the 
Llynfi Iron Works, the Llwydarth Tinplate Works, 
and at the entrance to the valley, the Tondu Iron 
and Steel Works. 

About a mile and a half below Maesteg stands the 
hamlet and church of Llangynwyd, from which the 
parish takes its name. Llangynwyd is justly famed 
in the annals of the county as being the ancient terri- 
torial division of Tir Iarll — The Earl's Land. 

About a quarter of a mile from the church there 
are remains of a castellated structure. It is situated 
in one of the most secluded of retreats, and is not 
visible from any of the roads leading to the vil- 
lage. Cadravvd, in his " History of Llangynwyd," 
calls it '' The Castle." But the late G. T. Clark, our 
greatest authority in mediaeval remains of the 
county, hesitated to pronounce these ruins as the 
remains of a structure bearing that description. 

Rice Merrick, the Welsh chronicler of Cottrell, in 
his " Archseologia Morganiae," of 1578 a.d., gives it 

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the name of Castell Coch, Llangynwyd, and says 
that it was one of the seven castles erected in olden 
times on the highest commanding ridges of the 
coiint}^ We have a confirmation of a castle being 
situated in Llangynwyd in the Wigmore records, 
which state that Edmund de Mortimer, third earl of 
Marcli, and son of Eoger, Earl of March, was bom 
in the castle on February 1st, 1361 a.d. 

The outer walls of the remains, with the deep 
moat which surrounds them, prove it to have been a 
structure of considerable strength. It does not, how- 
ever, display much skilful art nor style of any parti- 
cular kind in its design, the existing remains being 
of the rudest description. 

Of far greater interest to Welshmen is the famous 
old farmstead of Cefn Ydfa, which lies about two 
miles to the south of the village. This was the home 
of the " Maid of Cefn Ydfa," whose devotion to her 
rustic lover Will Hopkyn, in defiance of the will of 
her parents, who wished to bestow her upon another 
aspirant, forms one of the most melancholy but 
touching episodes in the story of our country's songs. 
Will Hopkyn's love lyric, '' Bugeilio'r Gwenith 
Gwyn " (Watching the blooming wheat) in its 
pathetic strain, will be sung wherever Welshmen 
foregather. It stands forth in its beautiful simpli- 
city as probably the most popular and most winsome 
of our charming Welsh airs. 

Lower down the valley, and near the junction of 
the Llynvi with its parent stream the Ogwr, stands 
Tondu, the Ton-Ithel-ddu of tHe chronicles. Tondu 
is one of the most busy and thriving industrial 

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MAE8TEG. 165 

centres of the county. Its large iron and steel works, 
collieries, and coke ovens give employment to thou- 
sands of busy artisans. It is an important centre of 
the Great Western Eailway for its valley railways, 
for here are large engineering sheds for executing 
repairs to all rolling stock. 

The hills of the Llynvi basin are covered with the 
monuments of the hoary.past. In an hour's ramble 
dozens of tumuli of the prehistoric period may be 
traversed, whilst of British and Eoman encampments 
there are not a few. An old road which the natives 
designate Heol-y-Moch is considered to have been a 
Roman vicinal road in ancient times. To the west 
of the village we have the far-famed '* Crug-y-Di- 
vvlith," and in close proximity we may see the " Maen 
Llythyrog," both of which are referred to in the 
section on antiquities. 

Running almost parallel to the valley of the 
Llynvi are the Ogmore and Garw Valleys, with 
their teeming populations of close upon 25,000 in- 
habitants. The staple industry of these valleys is 
coal mining. Large collieries have been brought 
into existence in both valleys during the past fifty 

MERTH7R TYDFIL (population, 140,000) is a 
large, straggling, mining, and manufacturing town, 
built after a most irregular fashion, with narrow, 
incommodious streets. Its great growth and pros- 
perity are due to the establishment of ironworks 
here, among the lirst in the whole country, but which 
do not date back further than the middle of the 18th 

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century. Merthyr was then an insignificant and 
obscure village. 

Up to the last decade it enjoyed the distinction of 
being the most populous town in the Principality: 
but by the census returns of 1901 it has been ex- 
ceeded by Cardiff. In 1801 the population \vas esti- 
mated at 7,705: by 1831 it had more than trebled 
itself, and numbered 27,281 : by 1871 the population 
was 96,891 : while by the last census of 1901 it had 
reached 140,000 inhabitants. 

In close proximity, and really continuous with 
Merthyr, is the great iron-smelting centre of Dow^lais, 
a place which has grown around the original iron- 
works of the Guests. 

Merthyr has been a Parliamentary borough since 
the passing of the Eeform Act in 1832. In con- 
junction with xlberdare it is privileged to elect two 
Members to sit in the Imperial Parliament, since 
1867. Notwithstanding its size and the greatness of 
its population it has not enjoyed the privilege of a 
Corporate Municipality until about a year ago. Its 
administrative aifairs in past years were managed 
by a Local Board, at which a High Constable pre- 
sided. The office of High Constable dates back to the 
year 1825; and previous to the year 1845 the 
appointment to the office was made by the County 
Magistrates sitting at Cardiff. 

The Parish of Merthyr is divided into five 
parochial districts : — Heol Wermod, Gellydeg, 
Garth, Fforest, and Pentrebach or Taff Cynon. The 
formation of the various parishes into a Poor ijaw 
District took place in 1836, and was made to include 

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in its LTnion the following parishes: — Aberdare, 
(Jellygaer, Llanfabon, Llanwyno, Merthyr, Pen- 
deryn, Rhigos, Vaynor, and Ystradyfodwg. In 1863 
the Merthyr Union was re-constructed, and Llan- 
fabon, Llanwyno, and Ystradyfodwg were parcelled 
into a new union, and known as the Pontypridd 
Union. The Merthyr Union Workhouse was opened 
in 1853. 

The town is well served in its railway communi- 
cations by the TafP Vale Railway, the Rhymney 

Railway, the Great Western Railway, the London 
and North Western Railway, and the Brecon and 
Merthyr Railway. 

CTFARTHFA CASTLE.— The handsome Castle 
-of Cyf arthfa is a modern structure, built in the year 
1825 by William Crawshay, the '* Iron King," at a 
cost of £30,000. It is surrounded by extensive wood- 
lands, and is a great contrast in its suggestive pic- 
aresque repose, to the busy din, the whirr of wheels 
and machinery, and the snorting of the huge engines 
•of the furnaces of the Cyf arthfa Works in the valley 

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of the Taff below. The castle to-day, however, has 
110 genial host, as of yore, to welcome one. The doors 
are fastened up, and decay is marked upon everv^- 
thing. The acres of glass houses at the rear are 
unfilled, as in days gone b}^ The surroundings^ 
bespeak general despondency and departed glory. 

Mertliyr holds an honoured and distinguished 
place in the ancient history of our country. The 
name of the place is supposed to carry us back to the 
5th century, to the time of Brychan, prince or 
regulus of Garth-Madryn, and his daughter 
Tydfil or Tudfil. Brychan is specialised in the Welsh 
Triads as being head of one of the three Holy 
Families of the island of Britain, '' that he brought 
up his children and grand-children in learning and 
the liberal arts, that they might be able to show the 
faith in Christ to the nation of the Cymry, wherever 
they were without the faith." From ancient records 
we learn that Tanglwyst,i one of the daughters of 
Brychan, lived in the neighbourhood of Troedyrhiw, 
.and that the regulus, with several members of his 
family, had gone to pay her a visit. While there a 
party of pagan invaders, who had already com- 
menced to ravage the country, subsequent to the 
departure of the Romans, made an attack upon the 
homestead, killing Brychan, Tydfil, and her 
brother Ehun Drumredd.^ In commemoration of 
this tragic event a church or sanctuary is said to- 
have been erected on or near the spot where the 

1. Hafod Tan^lwys is the name of a farmstead in the neigh- 

bourhood to-day. 

2. A bridge near is called Pont Bhun. 

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massacre took place, and was dedicated to Merthyr 

In 1288 A.D. there arose a quarrel between Gilbert 
de Clare, " The Bed," Earl of Gloucester, and Hum- 
phry de Bohun, Earl of Brecknock, as to certain 
territories on the confines of Glamorgan and Breck- 
nock. The reputed cause of the feud was Morlais 
Castle, which De Clare was said to have built, 
according to the terms of the dispute, upon land 
belonging to De Bohun. However, the significant 
cause of the quarrel seems to have been entirely lost 
sight of in the events which transpired subsequently. 
Nothing more appears to have been heard concerning 
the disputed boundary. 

The Castle takes its name from the Morlais 
brook, which rises to the north-east of the 
castle, and flows into the Taff at the town 
of Merthyr. The castle occupies the edge of a 
high platform of limestone rock, 470 feet above the 
Taf Fechan. This rock has been extensively 
quarried for purposes of the neighbouring ironworks. 

Hostilities had been going on between the two earls 
for about two years, and perhaps the most bloody 
encounter between the partisans of these barons is 
that known as the Battle of Vaynor. The huge 
tumulus over the dead warriors of the con- 
tending parties may still be seen on the 
supposed field of conflict in close proximity 
to Vaynor Church. Edward I., on January 
25th, 1290, issued peremptory instructions that they 
^^'ere to abstain from further conflicts. The two 
earls, as Lords Marchers, ignored the king's com- 

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iiiands, and persevered in their practice of harassing 
one another by making forays into the other's terri- 
tory, and carrying off booty and plunder in the 
.shape of cattle, horses, and swine. In this matter, 
De Clare and his men were the greater offenders. 
Upon one occasion, besides demolishing and burning 
dwellings, De Clare's men burnt the church of Pen- 
deryn, taking therefrom " a chalice, certain orna- 
ments, and other valuables." 

By the command of the king an inquisition was 
held, and it is chronicled in the Parliamentary 
Eecords of 7th January, 1292, that he sentenced the 
two delinquents in the following terms: — 

'' The Earl of Gloucester, his whole franchise or 
royalty — totum regale — in Morganwg was 
to be declared forfeited. This forfeiture was 
to be for his lifetime only. He was further to 
be imprisoned during the pleasure of the 
king, and requested to pay «£100 damages to 
the Earl of Brecknock. The latter's Welsh 
franchises were similarlj^ forfeited during his 
lifetime, and he was likewise remitted to 
prison during the king's pleasure." 

It is upon record, however, that the two earls were 
subsequently restored to favour upon payment of a 
heavy fine each, the Earl of Gloucester of 10,000 
marks, and the Earl of Brecknock of 1,000 marks. 
Neither delinquent long survived this settlement. 
The Earl of Gloucester died at his castle of Mon- 
mouth in 1295, and the Earl of Brecknock died in 

The main purpose of the erection of Morlais Castle 

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is sufficiently evident from its isolated position. The 
Normans in the 13th century had obtained posses- 
sion of, and were exercising their authority in the 
strip of low-land bordering the Bristol Channel from 
■Chepstow to Neath, and known in Glamorgan as 
' The Vale," or Bro Mobganwg, which gave them 
command of the ports, through which they could 
pass supplies from Bristol and Gloucester. They 
then found it necessary to guard against the sudden 
inroads of the Welsh from the hilly districts upon 
their recently acquired territory ; consequently such 
<;astles as Castell Coch and Morlais were built, the 
■former in a commanding position in the Taff Valley, 
and near the estuary, the latter at the head of the 
valley. Mr. G. T. Clark, in his " Morlais Castle," 
states: — 

** Morlais is evidently part of a system, and 
must have been the work of no petty lord, but 
of some baron, whose business it was to defend 
the whole extent of the Vale from incursions 
from the north, and which certainly never 
more needed such a defence than during the 
years of anarchy which preceded and fol- 
lowed the death of Llewelyn in 1282. It 
appears never to have been inhabited except 
by a garrison, and to have been allowed to fall 
into ruin when the general settlement of th« 
interior country rendered its efficiency un- 
But ^lerthyr is far more famed in the nobler 
records of a nation's progress than in those records of 
the carnage of unceasing strife and deadly feud. 
She has grown from a small obscure village to be a 

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large and wealthy coniniunity, a glorious testimony 
to the conquests by man's ingenuity of the forces of 
nature, in the acquiring of the stores of wealth, 
which are hidden away in the bosom of her hills and 
valleys. We observe in her growth examples oi the 
skill and perseverance which the pioneers of the iron 
industry- — the Guests, Homfrays, Bacon, and Craw- 
shays — brought to bear in unearthing the enormous 
treasures of this neighbourhood, making Merthyr 


Tydfil the greatest iron-smelting centre in the United 
Kingdom for a long series of years. 

But iron-smelting appears to have been carried on 
here some two centuries before the great industrial 
awakening of the 18th century, as referred to in the 
Geographical section of this work. Traces of old 
furnaces and cinder heaps are still met with in the 
neighbourhood at Abercanaid and other places. 

In 1758 small furnaces were started at Dowlais by 
one of the Lewis's, of the Van, near Caerphilly, who 

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already had started a furnace at Pentyrch. Lewis 
^was granted the lease under date 20th September, 
1 757, by Thomas Rees and David John, both of the 
parish of Merthyr. By the terms of it, permission 
was granted to work the ironstone and coal, and to 
erect three furnaces for iron-smelting, for a term of 
90 years, for the annual sum of <£26. This is now 
known as the Dowlais lease, and was really the com- 
mencement of what afterwards became a great 
undertaking. Two years later John Guest, a Staf- 
fordshire man, was invited to manage the new works 
at Dowlais. These works increased from year to 
year, until in 1845 the Dowlais Iron Works had 
attained the position of being the largest in the 

In 1765 Mr. Anthony Bacon, M.P. for Aylesbury, 
in conjunction with some other gentlemen, leased 
what is now familiarly known as the Cyfarthfa 
Estate. He started the hrst furnace at Plymouth in 
that year, which was the foundation of the great 
Plymouth works, as well as opening a furnace at 
Cyfarthfa. In 1782 Bacon was joined by Samuel 
Homfray, who started the works at Penydarran two 
years later. 

It is of interest to remember that the first rails 
ever made in Wales were manufactured at Peny- 
darran, for the original railway between Liverpool 
and Manchester. The cable, too, for the Menai Sus- 
pension Bridge, was made at these same works. 

In the early years of the establishment of these 
furnaces coal was not used at all; coal was first 
utilised by John Guest in a very small way, for the 

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use of the farmers and villagers, but not for the fur- 
naces. Charcoal was used for the furnaces^ 
and the abundance of wood in the neighbour- 
hood enabled them to proceed for a long time in such 
primitive methods. Charles Wilkins states: — 

" The farmers of the neighbourhood were in the 
habit of taking a sack of lime to Mr. Guest. 
and for one half-penny they received a sack 
of coal in exchange. The load generally 
borne on a horse consisted of three sacks. So 
with his cargo of lime, the sturdy old farmer 
would travel to Dowlais and make the ex- 
change, return home, and emptying one sack 
into his outhouse, divide the cargo of coal 
equally into three sacks; then replacing them 
on his horse, either the same day or early in 
the morning, he would travel to Brecon, and 
sometimes as far as Kington, in Hereford- 
shire, and sell his black diamonds for ten- 
pence the sack. The half-a-crown, a great 
deal in those days, was then put in the pocket, 
and on his return home, still more securely 
put aside for the rent.'' 

Bacon and his company, shortly after the 
inception of the works at Plymouth and Cyfarthfa, 
obtained the contract for supplying the British 
Government with cannon, to be used in the American 
War of Independence. He shipped them from Car- 
diff to Portsmouth and Plymouth, at the place known 
in Cardiff as the Cannon Wharf, which previous to 
that was known as the Gwlat Quay. They were 
conveyed to Cardiff, either by road or waggons 

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drawn by 16 horses, or carried on the backs of mules 
by the mountain paths. The Cannon Wharf was then 
in the heart of the city of Cardiff, in the neighbour^ 
hood of the present ** South Wales Daily News " 
Of&ces. The land there has been reclaimed from the- 
River Taff, the course of which was diverted to the 
present channel in or about 1845. The cannon were- 
not only conveyed for embarkation to Cardiff, but 
were actually proved from the street (St. Mary's) 
opposite the quay, against the earth bank of 
the south wall, which then stood across the end of 
the street. There were, however, some ugly rumours 
afloat which did not redound to Bacon's credit, and 
the contract, it appears, was unceremoniously can- 
celled. Captain Smith, in his " Treatise on the Bute- 
Docks, states: — 

** It was rumoured against Bacon that he sup- 
plied cannon to the American Republicans^ 
as well as to his own government, and this 
was why he lost the contract, which after- 
wards fell into the hands of the Carron Com- 
pany in Scotland." 

In the latter part of the 18th century, i.e., in the 
year 1780, Richard Crawshay, a London business- 
man, came upon the scene. He purchased the inter- 
ests of the original Cyfarthfa Company, and so de- 
veloped the works, that Dr. IMalkin writes of them 
in 1803: — ''Mr. Crawshay 's works are now the 
largest in the kingdom, and perhaps in the world; 
they give employment to 1,000 workmen." 

It is upon record that Viscount Nelson, the great 
naval hero, visited Merthyr shortly after the riots of 

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1802, drawn thither by the fame of the ironworks. He 
informally visited Cj'farthfa, and made a call upon 
Eichard Crawshay. Eumour soon got abroad that 
the great admiral was in the neighbourhood, and an 
immense crowd gathered near the works. His intro- 
duction to the crowd was dramatic. Richard Craw- 
shay, in his bluff and hearty manner, grasped Nel- 
son by the hand, and turning to the crowd, ex- 
claimed, " Here's Nelson, boys ; shout, you beggars !" 
and such a shout went forth that made the welkin 
ring. Nelson never had a heartier and more enthu- 
siastic welcome anywhere. 

From the commencement of the 19th century 
Merthyr made great strides in industrial progress, 
and the growth and prosperity of the town reads liK:e 
a chapter of romance. It attracted to it men from 
all parts of the country, and they were as rough as 
any that sought their fortunes in the backwoods of 
America or in the goldfields of Australia, or as those 
who have flocked in our own time to the diamond 
fields of South Africa. It offered a safe asylum to 
all comers in the early years of the last century. 
The riff-raff crowded here, and those who were 
wanted for various offences in other parts of Wales 
stood a good chance of escaping from justice if they 
succeeded in reaching Merthyr. ** He is gone to 
Merthyr " in those days was tantamount to saying 
at the present time that a person has gone to 
America or to Australia. 

Merthyr, however, has seen its share of ups and 
downs in the shape of strikes, riots, and 
other periods of turbulence. The first occurred 

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in 1802, whieti appears to have been pretty 
general throughout South Wales, in conse- 
quence of the lowness of wages. Provisions 
ivere high, and wages were jthreatened to be further 
reduced. The furnaces in Dowlais were blown out. 
and the lawless soon had recourse to violence. It 
was found necessary to call for the soldiery from 
Cardiff and Bristol. Upon their arrival they were 
l)illeted in the place, and the disorder was soon 
quelled. Two of the principal leaders were captured. 
They were tried at Cardiff, were found guilty, and 
•condemned to be hanged. 

A similar riot took place in 1816, when wages 
were again low, and work was scarce. But the 
appearance of a regiment of dragoons, which had 
fought at Waterloo in the previous year, was 
suflScient to restore order without firing a single 
shot. But the riots of 1831 were the most serious. 
This was caused by the high price of bread and the 
general low rate of wages. The iron industry was 
cast upon troublous times, and as Mr. Crawshay 
said, " Iron was cheap.'' Wages were as low as 12s. 
a week, and people found it difficult to keep from 
debt. Things became so bad that the 93rd High- 
landers were sent for from Brecon. The ironmasters, 
Wm. Crawshay, John Guest, and Anthony Hill, 
reasoned with the crowd, but all to no purpose. The 
Riot Act was read, and a conflict ensued in which 
there was much shedding of blood, and several of the 
rioters were killed. The strike was continued for 
•eight weeks, but matters gradually became quiet. 

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and good relations were restored between the men 
and their employers. 

There was considerable unrest in the town at the 
time of the Chartist mcrvement, but this gradually 
sunmored dow^l, and since then the town has made 
progress in all directions. It has an excellent 
water supply from the Taf Fechan reservoir at Dolj'- 
gaer. It has its admirable system of drainage, and 
it has its efficient and well-equipped schools for 
primarj' and secondary education. Its system of 
electric cars is the latest development in the great 
march of progress. 

NEATH ^population, 13,720) is a municipal 
borough, governed by a Mayor, four Aldermen, and 
twelve Councillors. It is also a uiarket town, and 
a centre of the Poor Law Board, con:iprising twelve 
parishes within the jurisdiction of its Union, with a 
population of nearly 100,000 individuals. The town 
is recognised as a contributory borough to Swansea 
for parliamentary purposes since the passing of the 
Reform Act, 1832. From the incorporation of Wales- 
with England (temp Henry VIII.) it was privileged 
by Act of Parliament, 1637 a.d. in union w^th Car- 
diff, Cowbridge, Llantrisant, Aberavan, Swansea, 
and Loughor to return a member to tne Imperial 

The town is situated on the eastern bank of the 
river Nedd, about two miles from the mouth. The 
main line of the South Wales section of the Great 
Western Railway passes through the town ; it is also 
served by the Neath and Brecon Railway which 
traverses the Vale of Neath; and by the Rhondda 

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NEATH. 179 

and Swansea Bay Eailway through the Avan Valley 
to Treherbert. The town is eight miles from Swansea, 
and about 39 miles from Cardiff. On the western 
side of the river, and about a mile distant, is the 
suburb of Skewen, with a population of 4,600, while 
Biriton Ferry is situated about two miles to the 
south, on the eastern bank of the Nedd. 

Neath deserves to be recognised as one of the great 
industrial centres of South Wales. The inhabitants 
depend in >the main upon the various industries 
which are carried on in the immediate vicinity. 
These are tin, copper, and steel manufactures; col- 
lieries, of which thei^e are a large number within 
easy distance of the town at Onllwyn, Seven Sister^, 
Resolven, Skewen, Bryncoch, and Melincryddan : 
engineering works, brickworks, and worHs for the 
manufacture of sanitary articles of various kinds 
give employment to hundreds of men. Melincryddan, 
the southern suburb, is the centre of the steel arid 
tinplate manufactures; it has also chemical works, 
decorative, galvanised, and enamelled ware manu- 
factories. There is a very large tinplate works at 
Aberdulais. Skewen has tinplate and copper- 
smelting works. 

The construction of the canal through the Vale of 
Neath, in 1797, gave the town its first impetus as an 
industrial centre. 

The history of the place takes us back to very 
ancient times. Antiquaries place the Nidum of the 
Itineraries of Antonine, on the site of the present 
parish church. Everything points to the fact that 
the great Eoman highway — The Via Julia Mari- 

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TiMA — proceeded along the coast by Kenfig to this 
place, and on to Leucarum (Loughor), and that the 
Roman station Nidum was erected on the eastern 
bank of the river. A vicinal road is said to have 
met this main highway at Nidum, which was called 
the Sarn Helen; this traversed the Nedd Valley 
and formed a communication between Caer Bannau, 
near Brecknock, and the coast. The present public 


road from Neath bridge to Ynys-y-gerwn is con- 
sidered to be on the exact site of the old Roman 
road. Near Ynys-y-gerwn it turned to the west and 
proceeded up Cefn-Hir Mountain, where it may be 
traced for many miles. 

Coming to mediaeval times, Neath seems to have 
played an important part in the affairs of the country. 
The few vestiges which remain from those times are 
of sufficient importance to give it an honoured place 

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NEATH. 1«1 

in the past records of our county. These are the 
ruins of its Castle, and the more famous Abbey. 

The princes of Morganwg, after the departure of 
the Romans, made this place one of their chief resi- 
iiences, and the Court was frequently held here 
before the coming of the Normans. Gwrgant ab Ithel 
certainly had a residence here, and his son, lestyn, is 
said to have resided here. Tradition attributes to 
lestyn the holding of an Eisteddfod at Neath, in the 
11th century, to which was invited Rhys ab Tewdwr, 
prince of Deheubarth. The Welsh records state 
that at this assemblage of the bards and minstrels 
there commenced that feud between the prince of 
Morganwg and the prince of Deheubarth which cul- 
minated in the destruction of both, by the opening 
of the floodgates for the Normans to overrun and 
conquer the rich lands of Glamorgan in the year 
1093 A.D. 

After the conquest of Glamorgan by Fitzhamon 
and his twelve knights, the lordship of Neath was 
granted to Richard de Granville, the younger brother 
of Robert Fitzhamon. He it was who built the Old 
Castle in the midst of the present town of Neath. 
Its position near the centre and mouth of the vale 
in a flat situation, was evidently meant to guard the 
splendid demesne, which extended inland, against 
marauders from the sea, and from the Welsh of the 
north and west. Granville built his castle early in the 
12th century. The only surviving portions thereof 
are the main portcullis gateway, flanked by massive 
round towers on either side. ^ 

In 1231 A,D. the castle was destroyed by Llewelyn 

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ab lorwerth, prince of Gwynedd, and reduced to 
ashes, together with other of the castles of South 
Wales. It is generally surmised that the unfortunate 
Edward II sought shelter in the castle when pursued 
by his Queen Isabella and her paramour, Mortimer, 
before accepting the sanctuary of the Abbey. Dray- 
ton refers to this fact in the following lines: — 

"In. N««th, a castle next at hand, and strons. 
Where he oommanded entrance with hia crew, etc." 

When Owain Glyndwr ravaged the castles and 
churches of South Wales in 1403, Henry IV had 
taken the precaution to garrison Neath Castle with 
100 archers and 30 men-at-arms under the command 
of John St. John of Fonmon Castle. How they fared 
under Glyndwr's ravaging attacks is not recorded. 

« The Abbey is situated on the low land on the 
western bank of the Nedd. The remains are very 
extensive. Portions of the Priory House are still 
standing, but the Abbey Church is a mass of ruins. 
Edward II and the younger Despencer sought 
sanctuary in the Abbey, after their flight from Caer- 
philly Castle. The unfortunate king was betrayed 
by one of the monks of the Abbey, and was after- 
wards carried off as a prisoner to Berkeley Castle. 

PENARTH (population, 14,228) is situated about 
four miles from Cardiff, and is readily accessible 
from the latter place by rail, road, or steamer. In 
consequence of its accessibility it is frequently desig- 
nated a suburb of the " New City," and here in the 
present day the principal merchants have taken up 
their residence. The teeming multitudes of the indus- 
trial valleys of the east of the county enjoy Penarth 

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as a popular siiirimer resort. As a watering-place it 
has no superior in Glamorganshire. 

The town is tastefully laid out with wide and 
handsome streets. Its imposing terraces and streets 
of semi-detached villas of ornate architecture give it 
•an appearance of graceful comfort and contentment. 
The bluff headland on which the town is built 
affords the clue to its designation. Pen is the Welsh 
for HEAD, and Arth is a variation of garth, mean- 


ing a MOUND or rising ground. From the headland, 
200 feet high, upon which stands the Church of St 
Augustine, of ancient foundation, a most inspiring 
^iew of the country in the rear may be obtained, 
while to the south the grand expanse of the Bristol 
^Channel, with the distant English coast, is spread 
out in panoramic view, and lends enchantment to 
the vision. 

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The foreshofe owes much of its attraction to the 
substantial sea wall erected by the Earl of Plymouth 
some years ago. A convenient esplanade runs 
parallel to this sea wall, and forms an excellent and 
spacious promenade in all kinds of weather. Seats 
have been arranged at convenient distances along 
the whole length of the Esplanade. There is also an 
extensive promenade pier, which extends into the 
Channel for a distance of about 300 yards. This 
adds materially to the attractions of the place in 
summer months. 

On the elevated ground above the rocky 
heights, Earl Plymouth has very kindly laid 
out the beautiful Windsor Gardens for the enjoy- 
ment of the residents and the visitors to the town. 
These gardens extend from Beach Road to a point 
overlooking the Coastguard Station. Penarth has 
its other attractions in the shape of Public Baths, 
Public Free Librar}% its Art Gallery, and Athletic 
Grounds, etc. 

In wandering along the beach under the shelter 
of the cliffs from Penarth Heaa to Lavernock Point, 
one cannot fail to be impressed by the geological 
formation of its stratified rocks. These are known 
to geologists as the Penarth Beds. They display 
all the various formations which lie between the 
Lias and Trias, and are known as the Rha&tic Beds. 
They are very rich in the different kinds of fossils. 
One of the most interesting examples found in them 
is the *' Ichthyosaurus Communis," a reptile of the 
Lias formation. This was found at Lavernock some 
twenty years ago,and is now on exhibition at the 

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Cardiff Mnseum, The skull is of small size, hnt 
otherwise it is a really fine specimen of the carni- 
vorous reptiles of former times. 

Tlie rapid progress and expansion of the town has 
been phenomenal. In 1850 it boasted of only a 
dozen houses, most of them thatched cottages and a 
farmhouse or two, tenanted by about a hundred per- 
sons. Now it ranks as a prosperous town, a water- 
ing-place, and greiat seaport, with a population of 
close upon 15,000. The local affairs are under the 
control of an Urban District Council of twelve- 

The rapid rise of the place is probably due to 
the construction of its famous dock which was 
opened in 1865. This noble shipping convenience- 
has an accommodation area of 23 acres, with an 
additional basin of three acres. The depth of the 
water at ordinary spring tides is 36 feet, and at ordi- 
nary neaps it averages 26 feet. The dock has been 
leased by the Taff Vale Railway Company for a term 
of 999 years, and it holds direct communication with 
every colliery in the two Rhonddas, Aberdare, and 
Merthyr Valleys, so that trains are able to run 
directly from the collieries to the coal-staiths at the 
dock, thus ensuring that the entire service from the 
pit*s mouth to the ship's hold is entirely in the same 
company's management. It is believed that the 
volume of trade done at Penarth Dock in one year is 
not equalled by any other dock of equal size in the 
whole world. The gross shipping tonnage averages- 
from four to five millions. 

One of the greatest attractions at Penarth in addi-^ 


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t ion, to the natural scenery of the place, is the 
^* Turner House," or Museum and Art Gallery. This 
was erected by the late Mr. J. Pyke Thompson in 
1888 as a Public Art Gallery. Mr. Thompson was 
well known as a keen and accomplished art con- 
noisseur, and his collection of pictures of the great 
masters are a source of ever-increasing attraction 
and pleasure, not only to the residents of Penarth, 
but also to visitors from a great distance. This 
generous gentleman greatly enriched the Public Art 
Gallery of Cardiff, also, by his invaluable gifts from 
time to time. 

PONTYPRIDD (population, 32,316) is an im- 
portant and busy town at the junction of the river 
Rhondda with the Taff. It has sprung into promin- 
■ence in the course of the past 60 years on account of 
its proximity to the thriving mineral-bearing Rhon- 
dda and C3'non Valleys, and its situation in the 
<5oal-producing Taff Valley. The name of the plao« 
is a contraction of Pont-y-ty-pridd, a designation 
which was given it from the old one-arch bridge 
which spans the Taff, and the '' mud domicile " con- 
tiguous to it. Anglicised it reads, " The bridge of 
the earthen house." 

Pontypridd is the popular nmrket-town of the 
Rhondda Valleys, of the parish of Llanwynno, and 
the rural districts towards Llantrisant and Cow- 
bridge. It is a centre of the Poor Law Board, and 
the Union Workhouse, which was erected in 1865, 
is situated within it. The Union comprises the par- 
ishes of Eglwysilan, Llantrisant, Llanfabon, Llan- 
wynno, and Ystradyfodwg. 

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The town is one of the chief centres of the Taff 
Vale Railway from Cardiff, Merthyr, Aberdare, and 
the Rhonddas, being twelve miles distant from each 
of the four termini. The Barry Railway Company 
have a connection with the town in the Graig 
Station; whilst the Pontypridd and Caerphilly Rail- 
way from Newport runs into the Taff Vale Station. 


Long before Pontypridd became known in the 
commercial world as a great mining centre, it was 
famous for its wonderful one-arch bridge, the primi- 
tive beauty and strikingly impressive appearance 
of which has been somew^hat marred by the erection 
of another structure of lower elevation for heavy 
trafiSc in parallel proximity to it. The one-arch 

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bridge was constructed in the year 176B by William 
Edwards, a self-taught genius, who was a native 
of Eglwysilan. Its picturesque appearance has 
been likened to a rainbow, on account of the light- 
ness, width, and the elevation of the arch, which 
measures 140 feet in th« chord, 3B feet in hei^t 
above the low-water level of the river, and foTTD» 
the section of a circle 175 feet in diameter. Previous 
to the constiniction of this bridge, the Rialto Bridge 
at Venice, was considered to be the largest one-arch 
span in the world; but its chord measured only 
98 feet. 

Edwards had constru<;ted two bridges on this 
same spot before li«e was su'ooessful, both ot which 
came to grief, Tibe first bri-dlge, cosmpleted in 1746, 
consisted of three arches, but a greait fl-ood carrying 
down uprooted treevin<i huge quantities of floating 
material, damm-ed the current of the stream to such 
an extent, that the pressure of th<e flood swept the 
first structure completely away, after it had stood 
for only two-and-a-half years. The second bridge 
was a one-arch structure; it liad been completed all 
but the parapets, when in consequence of the great 
pressure of the masonry upon the haunches, the 
arch sprung up in the centre, the keystones were 
forced out, and there followed a total collapse. This 
occurred in 17B1. 

However much discouraged William Edwards 
may have been by these unforeseen misfortunes, it 
was not characteristic of him to give way to de- 
spondency. He set about the erection of the bridge 
for the third time, and by placing at each end three- 

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cylindrical tunnels, gradually diminishing in 
diameter as they approached the centre of the 
bridge, he relieved the pressure upon the haunches. 
The bridge was successfully completed in 17B5, and 
remains to this day a monument to the genius and 
dogged perseverance of this native bridge-builder. 

When this bridge was constructed, the native 
beauty of the TaiBf Valley, with its wooded heights, 
its green glades, and its laughing mountain stream- 
lets were sights enchanting to behold. Now, these 
have given way to the onward march of the grimy 
but victorious giants of coal and iron, which have 
left tumuli of rubbish heaps in every direction in 
the neighbourhood of Pontypridd. Up the Taff 
above Pontypridd we have the ever-increasing col- 
liery village of Cilfynydd; ascending the Ehondda 
we are confronted with rubbish heaps from the col- 
lieries, coke ovens, throwing up tongues of fire at 
night, which light up the valley for miles distant, 
and foundries where all kinds of cast-iron products 
are made. 

There is a very large chain, cable, and anchor 
works carried on here, which was first opened in 
1818. Hundreds of anchors are made at these works 
for the Admiralty, who have an overseer stationed 
at Pontjrpridd to supervise their construction. 

PontjTpridd has some connection with the pre- 
historic past in the vestiges of a Druidical Circle 
and logan stone on the common, to the east of the 
town. In the centre of the circle is a huge stone, 
about IB tons weight, which is called " The Eocking 

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RHONDDA VALLEY Cpopulation, 113,735) 
shows the most marvellous progress in industrial 
development, and growth of population of any dis- 
trict in the County of Glamorgan. Sixty years ago 
the tourist, in traversing from Pontypridd to Blaen 
Ehondda or Blaen-y-Cwm, a distance of 13 miles, 
would find himself in a vale rich in natural beauty 
and wooded heights, with but few human habitations 


t(^ break the solitude of the scene. The slopes of the 
hills, almost to the very summits, would be clothed 
with coppices of trees, some of very large growth, 
and some of a stunted character, which made the 
valley a veritable paradise in the variety of its 

The Ehondda, a clear limpid stream, beguiled 
its way from the highlands of Craig y Llyn, 
Carn Moesyn, Pen Pycli, and Mynydd Ystrad 

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Ffernal, sometimes in a narrow and rapid torrent^ 
impeded by rocky fragments ; at other times laving- 
through rich meadow lands, and by woody groves 
of the finest oak trees, to arrive at a spot about two- 
miles above Pontypridd, where the river flows 
between Mynydd y Glyn on its right, and Taran y 
Pistyll on its left. There was formed Berw y 
Rhondda, a beautiful and romantic cascade famous 
for its salmon leap. Over this cascade there was- 
thrown a rustic Alpine bridge, constructed with the 
trunks of trees. The beauty of the river was its 
perfect clearness, uncontaminated by any kind of 
fortuitous discolouring. Here might the busy angler 
of the early years of the 19th century ply his leisure 
time to his heart's content in filling his basket with 
salmon, sewin, silvery and pink-speckled trout,, 
perch, and other fresh-water fish. 

Malkin in 1803 described the valley in the foUow-^ 
ing terms: — 

** The parish of Ystradyfodwg exhibits such 
scenes of untouched nature as the imagina- 
tion would find it difficult to surpass; and 
yet the existence of the place is scarcely 
known to the English traveller. Those who 
know the wilds of Ystradyfodwg have seen 
such woods and groves as are rarely to be 
found. The almost perpendicular sides of the 
hills are clothed nearly to the top with 
dwarfish stunted oak, scarcely exceeding the 
size of garden shrubs. Towers of naked 
stone occasionally start up, which overhang 
the road, and seem to endanger the travel- 
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ter." Of the part above Pojrth he says: 
" Hereabout and for some miles to come^ there 
is a degree of luxuriance in the valley in- 
fijaitely beyond what my entrance on this dis- 
trict led me to expect. The contrast of the 
meadows, rich and verdant, with mountains 
the most wild and romantic, surrounding 
them on every side, is in the highest degree 
picturesque* On the farm of Llwynypia, 
standing alone by the roadside, there is the 
tallest and largest oak that ever I have hap- 
pened to meet with." 

How very thinly peopled it was, may be judged 
from the following remark : " I had met with 
but one person of whom I could ask a ques- 
tion since my entrance into the parish." 
Then of the upper part of the valley he says : 
After you pass the church (Ystradyfodwg 
Parish Church) the fields and meadows of 
the vale are found to be narrower and less 
fertile. The rocks and hills gradually close 
in, becoming bolder and more fantastical in 
their appearances, while the sides of many 
are clothed with an apparently inexhaustible 
opulence of wood. The continual water 
courses down those that are naked, break 
the uniformity of the perspective with their 
undulating lines, and assist in communicat- 
ing a characteristic interest to what may not 
improperly be termed the Alps of Glamor- 

B.v«n as late as the year 1845, when it was visited 

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by Mr. Cliffe, we have the following graphic 
description of it in his ** Book of South Wales " : — 
" We shall never forget our first impression of 
Ystradyfodwg. When we had walked about 
half a mile over the hill, the clouds, which 
had been down on the hill, began to lift, and 
suddenly the * Green Valley ' unfolded itself 
before us, with one of those exquisite effects 
peculiar to mountain scenery which a Claude 
could not transfer to canvas. The valley 
stretched for a distance of eight or ten miles 
between two nearly parallel lines of hills, 
broken by a succession of cliffs of singular 
beauty, apparently terminated by a vast 
i Alpine headland, and feathered by trees or 
• copse of woods to its summit, a mountain 
chief (Pen Pych) keeping watch as we 
descended. Th6 emerald greenness of the 
meadows in the valley below was most re- 
freshing. The scenery when explored in 
detail realized the first impression. The air 
is aromatic with the wild fiowers and moun- 
tain plants. A Sabbath stillness reigns. . . . 
It is the gem of Glamorganshire." 

How changed is the prospect ! The river Ehondda, 
instead of being a stream of ** perfect clearness," is 
now a dark, turgid, and contaminated gutter, into 
which is poured the refuse of the host of collieries 
which skirt the thirteen miles of its course. The 
eternal hills are still in situ, but how disfigured! 
Their slopes have been stripped of all their wood- 
land beauty, and there they stand, rugged and bare, 

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with immense rubbish heaps covering their surface. 
Its original solitude and stilhiess have been usurped 
by the bustle of trade. The whole length of the 
valley, from being an incomparable Elysian glade, 
has become transformed into a veritable Cyclopean 
workshop, where the din of steam-engines, the whirr 
of machinery, the grating sounds of innumerable 
coal screens, and the hammering of the smithies pro- 
ceed unceasingly night and day, year in and year 


out. Here and there throughout the valley we find 
immense coke-ovens, which belch out flames of lire 
and stifling fumes of smoke from their burning fur- 
naces. The bowels of the earth are torn out and 
tipped on the surface in embankments of swarthy 
rubbish. The railways seem alive with trains of 
interminable length, which convey towards the 
docks of Cardiff, Penarth, and Barry the invaluable 

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RHON015A V«L1.EY. 195 

steam coal extracted from the cavemoiis depth of 
this practically inesrhaustible valley. An unheard 
of wealth of industry and a great population have 
simultaneously sprung up together during the past 
sixty years in this vale, where formerly there were 
only a few score of people. 

The industrial townships of this valley appear to 
be inseparably connected in one continuous series of 
streets of workmen's cottages from the head of the 
vale to Pontypridd. They are, Blaen Khondda, Tre- 
herbert, Treorky, Cwmpark, Pentre, Ystrad, in 
which is situated the old Parish Church of Ystrady- 
fodwg, dedicated to Tyfodwg ab Gwilfyw, of the 
family of Coel Godhebog, a British saint of the 6th 
century; Llwynypia, opposite which is the ridge of 
Penrhys, where tradition says that Eliys ab Tewdwr 
was slain after the battle of Hirwaun Wrgant in 

Upon this spot is the supposed remains of an 
ancient monastery, and though not referred to by 
Dugdale or Bishop Tanner, it is frequently quoted 
by Welsh annalists and the bards. The Monastery 
is supposed to have been destroyed by Henry IV. in 
141B, on account of the Eisteddfod which was held 
there under the patronage of Owain Glyndwr in 
1404, and for the support given the Welsh chieftain 
by the followers of Cadwgan of the Battle Axe. 

In the "Cambrian Journal" of 1862 Mr. W. 
Llewelyn writes: — "When I visited Pen Ehys 
about twenty years ago some portions of the monas- 
tery existed, though incorporated with modern 
erections and difficult to identify. The present farm- 
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house of Pen Ehys has been erected on the site of the 
ancient monastery. . . . The barn, which stands in 
a field near the house, called to this day " Y Fyn- 
went," or the churchyard, was formed to a consider- 
able extent out of portions of the ancient monastic 
buildings ; one of the windows, and parts of the old 
walls of which were, at that period, very clearly dis- 

Speaking of the "Holy Well," on the slope 
facing Llwynypia, he says: — "The spring, 
which is entered by stone steps, is arched over, and 
at the back above the spring there stands a niche, in 
which it is evident that there stood originally an 
image of the Virgin, to whom the monastery was 

The foundation of the monastery is attributed 
to Eobert, Earl of Gloucester, the successor 
of Fitzhamon in the Lordship of Glamorgan. 
He was the grandson of Ehys ab Tewdwr. It be- 
longed to the Franciscan Order. 

The lolo MSS. record that on the spot where 
Prince Ehys was beheaded " was erected the great 
monastery of that name in the parish of Ystrady- 
fodwg," and over his grave " was raised a great 
tumulus near the monastery, which is called Bryn 
y beddau, i.e., the hill (or tumulus) of graves." 

Eees Merrick, in his " Morganise Archaeo- 
graphia," refers to it in the same way. Dr. John 
David Ehys, in his grammar, " Cambro-Brit. Cym- 
rcB. Ling. Inst., 1692," has an ode to Wyrif 
Fair "Wenn o Ben Ehys (Mary, the Fair Virgin of 

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Pen Ehys) by Gwylim Tew, which was delivered at 
the Eisteddfod at which Owain Glyndwr presided. 

The little glen of Cwm Clydach has its opening 
between Llwynypia and Tonypandy, while a little 
further on is Penygraig, into which the Great Wes- 
tern Eailway Company runs a branch line from 
Llantrisant and Tonyref ail. ' Lower down the valley 
is Dinas, Trealaw, and Forth. At Forth we have the 


entrance into the Ehondda Fach Valley, which has 
the mining villages of Ynyshir, Fontygwaith, Blaen- 
llechau, and Mardy. Froceeding from Forth we pass 
down the valley to Trehafod, with its junction of the 
Barry Eailway, then to G3^feillion and Hopkinstown, 
to find ourselves at Fontypridd. 

All the above places have important collieries, in 
which the various seams of steam coal are worked, 
raising millions of tons annually of the richest coal 
in the whole world. 

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The Rhondda Valley was famoas for a remark- 
able character, whose residence was said to be at 
Treorky. He was called Cadwgan of the Battle 
Axe." The lolo MSS. give the following account of 
him: — 

" Cadogan of the Battle Axe lived at Glyn 
Rontha during the time of Owain Glyndwr's 
war, and was one of that chieftain's captains 
over the men of that vale. When Cadogan 
went to battle he used to perambulate Glyn 
Rontha, whetting his battle-axe as he pro- 
ceeded along; from which circumstance 
Owain would call out to Cadogan, " Cadogan, 
whet thy battle-axe," and the moment that 
Cadogan was heard to do so, all living per- 
sons, both male and female, in Glyn Rontha 
collected about him in military order; and 
from that day to this the battle-shout of the 
men of Glyn Rontha has been, *Cadoean! 
whet thy battle-axe,' and at the word they 
all assemble as an army." 

BHTMNEY and PONTLOTTYH (population, 
7,914) are border communities, which lie partly in 
Monmouthshire and partly in Glamorganshire. The 
main part of the former place is in Gwent. whilst the 
main portion of the latter is in Glamorgan. Both 
places came into existence with the development of 
the coal and iron trades. A syndicate of Bristol 
adventurers, under the name of the Union Company, 
in the early years of the 19th century worked the 
coal by levels or inclined shafts, and started iron- 
smelting at Rhymney. 

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The first smelting furnace was' started in 
1802, and was known as the Old Furnace. 
Two • years later the Middle Furnace was 
erected a little lower down the valley. These then 
passed into the proprietorship of William Crawshay, 
of Cylarthfa, and were worked by him until they 
^were transferred as a dowry to his daughter when 
she married Mr. Benjamin Hall, the father of the 
late Lord Llanover. Benjamin Hall sold them in 
1826 to Crawshay Bailey, but before the contract 
was completed a joint stock company intervened and 
gave the vendor a higher price for them. It is 
said that this amounted to £100,000. The works 
are now in the possession of the Ehymney Coal and 
Iron Company, and under their management have 
made very great progress. The annual output of 
coal reaches the gross total of about half a million 

SWANSEA (population, 94,537) is the most 
important town of West Glamorgan. It stands on 
the estuary of the Tawe, hence its Welsh appella- 
tion — Abebtawe — ^but its name in ancient records 
is Caerwyb, i.e.. City of Gower. Its English desig- 
nation is assumed to have been derived from either 
of the following sources. Some authorities trace it 
to Swansei, Sweyn's-ei, i.e., Sweyn's inlet, an inter- 
pretation which takes us back to the marauding 
expeditions of the Danish leader of that name in 
King Alfred's time, who is said to have made the 
bay a base for his expeditions against the Anglo- 
Saxon rulers. The alternative interpretation is, that 
it was originally written in the old Saxon dialect, 

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** Swinesey of the seaporkes," or, as Camden gives 
it, Sweinsey, in reference to the porpoises, or sea- 
swine, which abound in the Channel and frequent 
the bay. Another authority derives the name from 
Sein Henyd. 

The town is a County Borough, with a munici- 
pality consisting of a Mayor, 10 Aldermen, and 30 
Councillors. It enjoys the reputation of being a sea- 
port town of considerable magnitude, and in its in- 
dustries is recognised as the " Metallurgical Capital 
of Great Britain." 

INDUSTRIES.— Copper, silver, lead, spelter, 
nickel, and weldless tubes are produced on a very 
extensive scale; while in the immediate neighbour- 
hood, coal-mining, iron, steel, and tinplate manu- 
factures afford employment to tens of thousands of 
busy artisans. 

Its copper-smelting industry was commenced 
in the year 1719; the site of this first works 
was on the spot which proved so famous in 
the production of pottery, and afterwards was 
known as the '* Cambrian Pottery Works." The 
premier works, however, in the copper industry in 
the neighbourhood of Swansea was that started by 
Dr. Lane at Landore in 1717. At one time Swansea 
obtained, practically, the monopoly of trade in this 
business, until American and German firms took to 
smelting the ore in their own countries. The spelter 
or zinc manufacture in Swansea at the present day 
occupies nineteen-twentieths of the whole produc- 
tion of the United Kingdom ; while the tin and teme- 
plates made within a radius of four miles of the port 

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are reckoned at over seven million boxes annually, 
being valued at nearly six million pounds sterling. 

In the latter half of the 18th century, and the 
early years of the 19th century, Swansea became 
famous for its Porcelain manufacture. This was 
discontinued as such in the year 1824; but the 
earthenware pot works were continued until the 
year 1870. 


These old Welsh Porcelains are in great demand 
to-day, and their rise in value is attributed to the 
fact that the Welsh porcelain factories, in one parti- 
cular aspect, were the most interesting of all the 
British potteries. The Welsh porcelain, in its lovely 
translucent body, was equal, if not superior to the 
finest " Old Sevres " ware. It is said that no British 

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2(12 QUMnenrnMi, 

paste, except what was made at Coalport or Made- 
ley, ever attained the same degree of translucent 
quality. The decorations on the ware appear to h«ve 
heen equal to the best work of the French artists. 

The other industries in the town and district oomr 
prise Patent Fuel, in the manufacture of which 
there are more works in the Swansea district than 
in any other district in the kingdom, the fuel being 
■exported to all parts of the world; Brass and 
Patent Metal Works, Chemical Works, Creo- 
sote Works, Alkali and Arsenic Works, Flour 
Mills, Saw Mills, Timber Yards, Iron Foun- 
dries, Tanneries, Breweries, Kope-walks. 

Its importance in the industrial world may be 
measured from the fact that there are no fewer than 
150 important works of all kinds in the town and 

DOCK ACCOMMODATION.— Swansea possesses 
a magnificent series of docks. As early as the 
year 1847 there was constructed the splendid 
South Dock of seventeen acres, with its Half- 
tide Basin; this dock and basin run almost 
parallel to the seashore of the bay, and are on the 
western side of the Tawe Estuary. At a later date 
there was constructed further inland, on the town 
side of the river, the North Dock of 16J acres. The 
exigencies of trade again called for increased dock 
accommodation, and by the year 1881 there was 
constructed a third dock having an area of 27 acres, 
which was opened with great public rejoicing and 
eclat by our present ruling Sovereign when Prince 

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of Wales, and very appropriately designated " The 
Prince op Wales Dock." This fine dock is situated 
on the east bank of the Tawe estuary, and- is entered 
by a tidal basin opening into the bay between two 
long piers, the eastern being 1,210 feet long, and the 
western 2,600 feet long. At the end of each of the 
piers there has been erected an electric harbour light, 
the one being a white light and the other a red light. 
The sea locks of the docks are recognised to be the 


largest and deepest in the Bristol Channel. They 
open into what is called the new deep sea channel, 
which has been dredged into the middle of the bay 
for a distance of 7,000 feet. 

The trade of the port is perhaps of a more varied 
character than that of any of the other South Wales 
ports, as the following description by Mr. Law, the 
Harbour Superintendent, testifies: — 

*' The trade of the port is not confined to coals. 

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as is largely the case in most of the other 
ports of the Bristol Channel, but is of a most 
varied description, and although in tonnage 
it is less than that of Cardiff, yet in value it 
is about equal to the trade of Cardiff, Barry, 
and Penarth combined. Its imports embrace 
ores — ^gold, silver, copper, calamine, pyrites, 

iron, etc grain, flour, tin, spelter, pig-iron, 

timber (sawn and hewn) and pitwood; 
whilst its exports consist of coal, patent fuel, 
tinplates, corrugated iron, machinery, chemi- 
cals, and general merchandise. 

" The imports in 1904 included the following : 

Copper and silver ores ... ... 275,921 tons. 

Iron ore 86,037 „ 

Grain, flour, and provisions ... 139,974 ,,, 

Iron and steel 108,298 ,. 

Wood goods 91,109 „ 

" The exports included over five million tons of 
coal, coke, and patent fuel. The Harbour is 
surrounded with twenty miles of railway, 
connecting the various docks, and the chief 
railways of the district." 

PUBLIC BUILDINGS.— The appearance of. the 
town when viewed from the range of hills 
which shelter it on the north, or from its 
fine capacious bay, which is said to rival 
the Bay of Naples, is very striking, and shows that 
it has been regularly and remarkably well-built, the 
main streets being, as a rule, at right angles to one 
another. Its chief public buildings comprise the 

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following: — The GuiiiDHALL, in which is the Coun- 
<jil Chamber of the Corporation, the offices of the 
Town Clerk, and the Crown and Nisi Prius Courts ; 
The Market Buildings, in Oxford Street; The 
Oeneral and Eye Hospital, in St. Helen's Eoad; 
^* The Eoyal Cambrian Institution for the Deaf 
and Dumb," transferred from Aberystwyth to 
Swansea in 1850 (the present buildings on the Graig 
Field were erected in 1866, and have been added to 
within recent years). The institution, since 1893, is 
under the inspection of the Board of Education, and 
receives Government grants. The Eoyal Institu- 
tion OF South Wales, founded in 1836, and incor- 
porated by Eoyal Charter in 1883, occupies a 
position in Adelaide Street, near the South Dock. 
This is the headquarters of literary and scientific 
societies. It contains a splendid library, in which 
is one of the best collections of Welsh Books and 
books pertaining to Wales extant. Its Museum of 
Geology, Mineralogy, Natural History, and Anti- 
quities contains specimens of a most interesting and 
varied character, which have been contributed to by 
the great African traveller, the late Sir Henry M. 
Stanley, M.P. The Public Free Library is situate 
in Alexandra Eoad. Then there are the Mechanic 
Institutes, Public Schools, Places of Amusement, 
Churches and Chapels, and its famous Old Castle 
occupying a prominent position in the centre of the 

PUBLIC PARKS. — In the matter of Public 
Parks, the Swansea Corporation have generously 
provided for the needs of the people in 

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266 QLMMfMlftN. 

beautiful open-air spaces. Off the Oysfeer- 
moutb Boad, and only sepamted from tbe 
sands of Swansea Bay by the London and !North 
Western Railway, is the beautiful Victobia. Pabk^ 
which is a favourite resort of the townq)eople at all 
seasons of the year. 

Still to the westward is the famous St. Helen's 
Football, Cricket^ and Recreation Ground, 
which has been the scene of " battles royal " ber 
tween the most famous football teams in the world. 

The Cwmdonkin Park, in the north-west portion 
of the borough, is an open space of thirteen acres, 
commanding from its undulating uplands the whole 
panorama of Swansea Bay. 

Brynmill Park, of nine acres, is well laid out in 
lawns,terraces, and shrubberies. It has an extensive 
lake, well stocked with some of the rarest waterfowl. 

Jersey Park, on the east side of the river, in a 
commanding situation on an elevated plateau under 
Kilvey Hill, gives one a beautiful view of the 
principal docks and the crescent-shaped bay beyond. 

There are other open spaces on the outside of the 
borough, such as Parc Llewelyn, an undulating 
expanse of 40 acres, overlooking the lovely scenes of 
the Tawe Valley; Brynmelin Park; and Dyfatty 
Field, to the north of the town. 

Swansea was the most important town in the 
Principality up to the year 1871, in point of size 
and population. In 1801 its population numbered 
6,881, while Cardiil had only 1,870 individuals. By 
1821 the population had reached 11,594; 1831, 

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16,000; and in 1871, 53,000. Cardiif in the ktter 
year was only 39,636. The latter town has, however, 
made giant strides since then, while Swa^nsea has 
made its average increase, yet its population to-day 
is not far short of 100,000 individuals. 

From the incorporation of Wales with England in 
1637 (reign of Henry VIII.), Swansea was made a 
contributory borough to Cardiff in Parliamentary 
representation. This privilege it enjoyed with Cow- 
bridge, Llantrisant, Kenfig, Aberavan, Neath, and 
Loughor until the passing of the Eeform Act of 
1832, when a new combination of Parliamentary 
boroughs was instituted in the union of Swansea, 
Kenfig, Aberavan, Neath, and Loughor, for the re- " 
turn of one member for the united boroughs. In 
1885 a new Redistribution of Seats Act was passed^ 
which gave Swansea Town the privilege of indepen- 
dent representation, while the outlying districts were 
comprised within what is called the Swansea Parlia- 
mentary District, with a separate member. 

In the time of the Commonwealth, Swansea was 
specially honoured by Cromwell in being privileged 
to send a member to Parliament to represent the 
town, in the person of William Foxwist one of 
Cromwell's Justices in the Brecknockshire Circuit* 
This privilege, it is said, was granted it for the ser- 
vices which the townspeople rendered the Parlia- 
ment in the great Civil War. Upon the restoration 
of the Monarchy, and the accession of Charles II* 
to the throne, this Parliamentary privilege was 
taken away from the borough, and it again became 
a contributory borough to Cardiff, until the Reform 
Act of 1832. 

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The governing body of the town from the year 
1600 until 1836 consisted of a Portreeve, a Eecorder, 
and twelve Aldermen; the first recorded Portreeve 
was Owen Phillippe, who served his year of office in 
1600. In the year 1835 a Charter of Incorporation 
was granted the town in the name of its Mayor 
(Nathaniel Cameron), six Aldermen, and eighteen 

HISTORY.— Swansea does not appear to have 
figured in the ancient annals of our country during 
Soman times. The great Eoman highway — the Via 
Julia Maritima — took a direct course from Nidum 
(Neath) to Leucarum (Loughor), to the north of the 
ridge of hills which overlook the town, thus avoid- 
ing the Crymlyn Bog, and whatever British settle- 
ment there might have been at Swansea, to have 
given it the name of Caerwyr in ancient records. 
Until the arrival of Norman times we have nothing 
definite in its history, and even then not until the 
settlement of the rich territory of Morganwg by 
Fitzhamon and his twelve companion knights. 

The territory around Swansea was known as Bro 
GwYR in the vernacular, while the present Peninsula 
of Gower went by the name of Gwyr. This was the 
territory which is said to have fallen to the descen- 
dants of lestyn ab Gwrgant after the conquest of 
Glamorgan. But the Norman freebooters who came 
in the train of Fitzhamon, and who as yet were in 
possession of no territory, having been given a free 
hand to conquer territories for themselves, pushed 
their trained bands westward, and made attacks 
upon the lands of the Welsh princes. In less than 

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■seven years from the defeat of lestyn ab Gwrgant, 
Benry de Beaumont, otherwise called Newburgh, 
Earl of Warwick, was in possession of the Gower 
Peninsula and Bro Gwyr, where he built several 
<5astles the chief of which was that erected at Swan- 
sea in the year 1099 a.d. 

The Norman Beaumont did not long enjoy the 
security of his new stronghold before he was com- 
pelled to defenfl it against the attacks of Gruffydd 


ab Ehys ab Tewdwr of Deheubarth in 1113 a.d. 
Gruflfydd, according to the Brut, destroyed the 
whole country surrounding the castle, but was 
unable to capture the fortress, though he succeeded 
in inflicting upon it very great injury. It is said 
that Beaumont after this made important additions 
to the structure, and greatly strengthened it. 

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He then introduced into the town and surrounding 
neighbourhood, English settlers from Somersetshire, 
and it is said that he aided the King (Henry I.) to 
find settlements for the Flemish from the Nether- 
lands. These appear to^ have had a separate exist- 
ence in the peninsula and adjoining territory from 
that time to the present, so that inter-marriage 
rarely ever took place between them and the native 
Welsh ; hence arises that difference of manners and 
customs which is such a marked characteristic of 
the two peoples. It is probable that to the Flemish 
we are indebted for the introduction of some useful 
vegetables and. fruits, such as the Cabbage, Let-. 
TucE, Eadish, and the Gooseberry. 

In the records of the Welsh Princes of Deheu- 
barth we find that the princes, time aft^r 
time, upon the least pretence, attacked these 
new settlers, sometimes almost uprooting them 
from the soil; but upon the conclusion 
of peace after every sore attack, they returned to 
make themselves more secure in the land of their 

In the year 1188 a.d., an event of great and un- 
usual importance in the annals of the country, was 
the preaching of the second Crusade by Archbishop 
Baldwin of Canterbury. He was accompanied by a 
large retinue of princes and prelates, with Giraldus 
Cambrensis as Master of the Ceremonies and Inter- 
preter-in-Chief. Morgan ab Caradog, the native 
sovereign of the district to the east of the river Nedd, 
guided the archi-episcopal company across the 
perilous quicksands of the river Nedd at Briton 

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Ferry, and they spent the ensuing night at Swansea 
Castle. The next morning the Archbishop cele- 
brated Mass, and preached to the people; and an 
aged Cymro, named Cawdor, came forward, made a 
speech, and offered a tenth part of his property for 
the use of the Crusade. From Swansea the Arch- 
bishop and his retinue proceeded to Cydweli. 

In the turbulent times which befell the country in 
the time of King John, the Brut tells us that Ehys 
Fychan, the son of Gruffydd ab Rhys, laid waste the 
whole country in the neighbourhood of Swansea, 
destroying all the castles of Gk)wer. The Anglo- 
Norman garrison of Swansea Castle, fearing an 
attack, set fire to the castle and made their escape. 
It is recorded that in three days he had made him- 
self complete master of all the strongholds of Gower. 
Lly warch ab Llewelyn, known as " Prydydd y 
Moch," has sung in the following strains in his pane- 
gyrical ode to the victor: — 

" Ac Abertawy, dref ddyhedd, 
Tyrywoedd briw, heddyw wneud hedd." 

"Ac Abertawy, terwyn Allwedd-Lloegr, 
Neud Uwyr weddw y grwragedd." 

''And Abertawy, peaceless town, 
Thy towers are rent, peace now reigns." 

" In Abertawy, strong Key to England, 
All the women are made widows." 

The castle must have been rebuilt after this, for 
in 1260 A.D. it was again attacked by another prince, 
the fateful Llewelyn ab Gruffydd, the last Prince of 
Wales, who is recorded to have utterly demolished 
it. And in this wrecked condition it remained until 
restored by Henry Gower, Bishop of St. David's in 
1330 A.D. 

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The present existing beautiful linea of pointed 
and circular Norman arches of the parapet 
which run round the structure, are generally sup- 
posed to have been constructed bv that famous pre- 
late, and appear to be an exact copy of those found 
in the remains of the Bishop's Palace at St. David's, 
and at Lamphey Palace, nea^" Pembroke, both 
erected by him. The interesting old Tower or Keep 
is also considered to have been built by Bishop 

Owain Glyndwr made- shprt wprk of the castle in 
the opening years of the 15th century, when he 
demolished nearly the whole of the castles of Gla- 
morgan. It was again repaired, and remained to a 
great extent in the condition in which we now see it 
through the great Civil War of the 17th century, 
when it was in the possession of the Beaufort family. 

Cromwell twice passed through Swansea. The 
first time in pursuit of Colonel Poyer, who was re- 
tiring to Pembroke after the battle of St. Fagan's. 
The second time when on his way to Ireland to take 
up the appointment of Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. 
Upon this latter occasion Cromwell was entertained 
to a public dinner in his honour at the house of his 
friend Colonel Philip Jones, Governor of the Castle. 
Parliament, for the services of the great general, 
made over to him as a gift the estates of the Marquis 
of Worcester at the close of the war, and in virtue of 
this grant he became Seignior of Gower and Lord of 
the Manor of Kilvey. 

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Glamorganshire forms part of the territory which 
was known in ancient times as Essyllwq, Tie 
EssYLLT, GwLAD EssYLLT, and by the Latins as 
SiLURiA. Essyllwg comprised the whole of the pre- 
sent counties of Glamorgan and Monmouth with 
portions of Brecknock and Hereford, viz., Ystrad 
Yw, Ewyas, and Erging ; as also a part of Glouces- 
tershire, now known as the Forest of Dean, but desig- 
nated in old records as Fferyllwg or Cantref Coch. 

The designation, Essyllwg, would probably be 
the oldest name for the whole of the territory, though 
some authorities maintain that Gwent is the older 
appellation. The term Gwent was applied to the 
territory which extended from the river Wye to the 
river Nedd. It was the name by which the district 
was known from the period of the withdrawal of 
the Eomans, to the end of the sixth century. 

Whichever name is the older, it is evident that 
both were appropriated and used by the Eomans; 
e.g., Caerwent was called by the Latins, Venta 
Silurum, i.e., Gwent of the Silures; and Caerlleon 
was known as Isca Silurum, i.e., Isca of the Silures. 
The two ancient names, Gwent and Essyllwg, in 
subsequent ages became limited in their application. 
Essyllwg, Tir Essyllt, Bro Essyllt, in mediaeval and 
modem times, became one of the designations of Gla- 
morganshire, whilst Gwent was confined to the limits 
of the present county of Monmouth. 

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The designation Morganwg or Glamorgan does 
not date back earlier than the sixth cen- 
tury, to the period of the rule of Morgan Mwyn- 
fawr, King of Gwent. He, it is said, in 
consequence of the encroachments of the Saxons of 
Mercia upon the eastern confines of his kingdom, 
deemed it advisable to remove his seat of government 
from Caerlleon, to a district further west. And 
it is recorded that he resided alternately at " Eadyr 
Brigan and Margam." The district into which he 
removed his seats of government was thenceforth 
called GwLAD Morgan, or Morganwg. 

The present limits of the county were apportioned 
in 1636, by the Act of Union, 27th Henry VIII., 
which incorporated "Wales and the Marches inte 

There are no reliable records of the history of 
Siluria before the coming of the Romans. In the 
Ilarleian Collection of Manuscripts in the British 
Museum there is given a long string of names of 
British chieftains who held sway in these islands for 
ages before the advent of the Romans. These art 
only valuable as a means of affording a clue occa- 
sionally to the ancient nomenclature of places in all 
parts of the island at the present time. They serve, 
too, to perpetuate the valuable myths and legendary 
lore which are the characteristics of a people so rich 
in imagination as the British race. 

The most famous of these ancient British chief- 
tains with whom the history of Morganwg 
is concerned, is Caradog ab Cynfelyn, i.e., 

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Caratacus, son of Cymbeline. In the per- 
son of Caratacus we are face to face with 
authentic history. He is the British chieftain who, 
after fighting thirty battles with the Romans, left 
them masters of the plains of Britain, and then 
retired to the mountains of the west, to make his 
Lome with the most brave and gallant of the British 
tribes, — the Silures. 

Ostorius Scapula in 50 a.d. succeeded Aulus 
Plautius in the command of the Roman troops in 
Britain. Aulus Plautius had been able to push his 
conquests as far west as the Severn. When Ostorius 
Scapula came he directed his attention to subduing 
the Silures. He was opposed by Caratacus, who 
had succeeded in uniting nearly all the British 
tribes under his sole command. Caratacus removed 
the seat of war to the country of the Ordovices in 
North Wales, in order to augment his forces. He 
chose a situation which was rendered almost 
impregnable by nature, which he further 
strengthened by the erection of ramparts mounted 
by palisades, and other methods of fortifying skill, 
which the British then possessed. 

Hoare in his *' Giraldus " locates the scene 
of the battle at Coxall Knoll close to Caer 
Caradoc Hill in Shropshire. Dr. John Rhys 
says: — "The final battle was fought, as we 
gather, in the neighbourhood of the Breiden 
Hills, between Welshpool and the English Border." 

Caratacus, it is recorded, by his skilful general- 
ship had infused his followers with the highest 
enthusiasm and determination. His success in the 

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past had given the British the most absolute con- 
fidence, and had encouraged them to deeds of the 
greatest valour. The Silures, under his leadership, 
had repelled all attacks, and had spurned 
all overtures of submission. They had proved 
themselves the most difficult of all the Brit- 
ish tribes to conquer, and they had harassed the 
forces of Rome more than all the other tribes of the 
island put together. Roman legions never experi- 
enced greater difficulty in conquering any people 
in any part of the world than they did in subduing 
the gallant Silures.* But British valour and Brit- 
ish stubbornness were compelled ultimately to give 
way before the trained and tried battalions of 
proud Rome. In the battle of Coxall Knoll, the 
intrepid Silures gradually lost their vantage 
ground on the summit of the chosen eminence. The 
Roman- testudo, or military shell, was not to be 
denied, and Roman arms proved their effective skill 
and gained a complete and decisive victory. The 
wife and daughter of Caratacus were taken pri- 
soners. He managed to escape after the conflict, and 
sought an asylum with Aregwedd Foeddawg, i.e., 
Catismandua, Queen of the Brigantes, who, how- 
ever, treacherously delivered him captive to the 
conquerors, as the Welsh Triads record: — " Cara- 
dawc, a ddug gwyr Rhufain yng ngharchar gwedi 
ei fradychu drwy hud a thwyll a chynllwyn Areg- 
wedd Foeddawg." 

Tacitus, the Roman historian, who was a contem- 
porary of Caratacus, has given us the following 
interesting account of the Silures and of this final 
battle of Coxall Knoll: — 

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" The Silures were very ferocious in war, and 
their courage was now greater from the 
presence of Caratacus. Renowned for his 
valour and vicissitudes of good and evil for- 
tune, that heroic chief had spread his fame 
through the island. His knowledge of the 
country and his skill in all the stratagems 
of savage warfare gave him many advan- 
tages. But he could not hope with inferior 
numbers to make a stand against a well- 
disciplined army. He, therefore, marched 
into the territories of the Ordovices (Ardyf- 
iaid, the people on the river Dyfi). Hav- 
ing drawn to his standard all who con- 
sidered peace with Rome as another name 
with slavery, he determined to try the issue 
of battle. 

For this purpose he chose a spot where the 
approach and the retreat were difficult to 
the enemy, and to himself in every way 
advantageous. He took post in a situation 
defended by steep and craggy hills. In some 
places where the mountains opened, and the 
acclivity afforded an easy ascent, he forti- 
fied the spot with massive stones heaped 
together in the form of a rampart. A river,, 
with fords and shallows of uncertain depth, 
washed the extremity of the plain. On the 
outside of the fortifications a vast body of 
troops showed themselvres in force, and in 
order of battle. Caratacus was seen in every 
part of the field; he darted along the lines; 
he exclaimed aloud: — * This day, this very 

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day, my fellow warriors, decides the fate of 
the Britons; the era of liberty or eternal 
bondage begins from this hour. Eemember 
your ancestors, who met Julius Caesar and 
delivered their country from bondage, and 
their wives and daughters from violation.' 
His soldiers shouted applause. 

The intrepid countenance of the Britons 
struck Ostorius, the Eoman general, with 
astonishment. He saw a river to be passed; 
a palisade to be forced; a steep hill 
to be surmounted; and the several 
posts defended by a prodigious multi- 
tude. Ostorius reconnoitred the ground, 
and marked where the defiles were im- 
penetrable or easy of approach, and gave 
the signal for the attack. The river was 
passed with little dif&culty. The Romans 
advanced to the parapet. The struggle there 
was obstinate, and as long as it was fought 
with missive weapons the Britons had the 
advantage. Ostorius ordered his men to 
approach under a military shell, and to level 
the pile of stones which served as a fence 
to the enemy. A close engagement followed. 
The Britons abandoned their ranks, and fled 
with precipitation to the ridge of the hills. 
The Eomans pursued with eagerness. Not 
only the troops, but even the legionary sol- 
diers forced their way to the summit of the 
hill under a heavy shower of darts. The 
Britons, having neither breastplates nor 
helmets, were not able to maintain the con- 

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flict. The Legions, sword in hand, bore down 
all before them. The victory was complete."* 

The wearisome warfare, covering so many years, 
proved too much for Ostorius Scapula. The Roman 
historian records that he retired to Caerlleon, " worn 
out with anxiety, and sank under the fatigue, and 
expired to the great joy of the Britons, who saw a 
great and able commander, not indeed slain in 
battle, but overcome by the war." 

The fame of Caratacus as a brave and 
noble warrior had preceded him to im- 
perial Rome, where all were on the tip-toe 
of expectation to see the chieftain who had 
been able to bid defiance to the great military 
prowess of the Empire. His fame and courage had 
secured for him the respect and admiration of everj^ 
citizen and slave, in proud imperial Eome. They 
were early abroad on the morning of the triumphal 
procession when Caratacus and his noble British cap- 
tives would be paraded through the streets to make 
a Roman holiday. All were keenly eager to behold 
the brave warrior who had set at naught the battal- 
ions of the Empire for the long period of nine years. 

First there came the captive followers of the gal- 
lant chieftain ; then there passed by his wife and 
daugliter; and, finally, Caratacus himself, loaded 
with chains. But the British chieftain did not for one 
moment, even in the dazzling scenes of the proud 
Court of Rome, forget the noble and honourable 
stock from which he had descended. In his de- 
meanour there was no abject supplication for mercy, 

♦(Tacitus Annal. Lib. XII.) 

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Before the throne of proud imperial Caesar he con- 
ducted himself as a king who had sprung from noble 
ancestors, who had ruled over many nations. He 
pleaded not for mercy by either word or look, but 
having been permitted to approach the throne, he 
addressed Claudius in the following dignified words, 
which are recorded by Tacitus: — 

" Had my moderation in success been equal to 
my noble birth, I might have entered this city 
as your friend, and not as your prisoner; and 
you would not have thought it beneath your 
dignity to welcome as an ally, a king of illus- 
trious descent who ruled many nations. My 
present lot is as glorious to you as it i^ 
degrading to me. I had horses, chariots, 
soldiers, arms, and wealth. What wonder 
that I was unwilling to part with them ? You 
are seeking to subdue all nations to your rule ; 
but does it follow that they will voluntary 
yield to your rule? Had I at once surren- 
dered to your power, neither my fall nor your 
triumph would have gained their present dis- 
tinction. Put me to death, and my whole 
story will be forgotten. Spare me, then I 
shall remain an eternal monument of your 
The noble bearing and manly behaviour of Cara- 
tacus appear to have greatly touched the Emperor 
Claudius. It is recorded that the captive king's life 
was spared, and that he lived in Rome for some 
years. Tradition tells us that he and his family in 
the year 60 a.d. were permitted to return to Britain, 

♦(Tacitus Annal. Lib. XII.) 

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and that he lived at bt. Donat's Castle or at Dun- 
raven Castle; he is said to have died at the former 
castle in the year 91 a.d. Some authorities will have 
us believe that he was buried at Llantwit Major, 
whilst others assert with equal authority that he was 
buried at Dinham, near the stipendiary city of Caer- 

Though Caratacus had been overcome, and taken 
captive to Rome, this did not deter the brave Silures 
from continuing their desultory attacks upon the 
Roman legions. There does not, however, appear to 
have been that steady, united, and organized concen- 
tration which was the characteristic feature of their 
defence and attacks under their former great leader. 
This persistence in opposition was ultimately reduced 
to a minimum, by the superior equipment and dis- 
cipline of the veteran legions under the next Roman 

Jujius Frontinus was sent to Britain by 
the Emperor Vespasian in 75 a.d. with instruc- 
tions " to make war only upon the gallant Silures, 
and subdue them." How well he accomplished this 
is exemplified by the number of excellent military 
roads which he constructed, and by the chains of 
fortresses, or military posts, erected by him along 
these great highways. 

ROMAN ROADS.— Frontinus landed in Siluria 
at Sudbrook, net^r the mouth of the Wye. He built 
there the first of his great military fortresses, or en- 
campments, remains of which exist to the present 
day. From this landing-place he constructed the 
great highway or military road known as the Via 

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Julia Mabitima, which traversed the southern parts 
of the county of Monmouth, through Caerwent, Caer- 
Ueon, Newport, Bassalleg, and along the elevated 
ridge by St. Mellons, to enter Glamorganshire, after 
passing the military encampment of the Eumney, 
near the site of the present main-road bridge over the 
Rhvmni Eiver. 


The Via Julia then passed through Eoath^ 
and deviated slightly to the north-west, pass- 
ing the Heath, where are some remains of an 
encampment. It then proceeded in a direct line for 
the Caerau, about three miles to the west of Cardiff^ 
There are indisputable evidences at Caerau of a 
JRoman station, which antiquaries, taking the 
Itineraries of Antonine as their guide, locate as the 
Tibia Amnis of the Eomans. The encampment 
occupies the entire summit of an abrupt eminence, 
and comprises an area of fully twelve acres. It is in 
the form of a parallelogram, rounded at the angles- 
It is defended by one rampart on the north, by two 
on the south and west, and by three on the east. The 
Praetorium was at the eastern end, and was circular 
in shape. It was guarded by steep ramparts, which 
communicated with the camp by narrow passages. 
In the middle of this old military station there 

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stands to-day the old parish: church of Gaerau, with 
the little hamlet of the same name, nestling under the 
shadow of the eminence. 

Some years ago the late Mr. John Storrie 
discovered in the hollow which is overlooked 
by the Caerau Camp evident remains of 
Boman occupation. Upon excavating, the renaains 
turned out to be undeniable traces of a Eoman villa 
of large dimensions. The walls were very strong in 
character, and bore much wall plaster thereon. 
There were small pieces of tesselated pavement in 
some of the rooms. Among the list of articles found, 
which are now in safe keeping in the Cardiff 
Museum, there was a silver denarius of Antoninus 
Pius in perfect condition, three bronze coins, one 
being the consular coin of Augustus, a medallion 
brooch, a twisted bronze armillse, a piece of Samian 
ware with pendant and tassel ornament, a number 
of small pieces of plain Samian ware, a number of 
fragments of ordinary red pottery, and many frag- 
ments of gray-ware vessels. The pieces of wall 
plaster were richly coloured, some with designs in 
imperial red, Pompcian red, and various shades of 
yellow, orange, and brown. 

On the site of the villa there was also found a 
foundry hearth of rather primitive character, about 
nine inches in diameter, which had evidently been 
used for the smelting of iron; close by there were 
unearthed clinkers and small fragments of cast- 
iron. About three yards from the furnace was a 
little hillock of manganese ore, which from analysis 
was proved to have been Spanish ore and not British. 

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Authorities came to the conclusion that it had un- 
doubtedly been used by the Romans for steeling 
their iron. (Vide " Eoman iron-making at Ely Eace- 
course," by John Storrie.) 

It seems probable that the Via Julia skirted the 
base of this little summit, and made in a westerly 
direction for the next station at Bovium a distance 

AifU'^ iiW?r 


of twenty millia passuum, according to the Itiner- 
aries, which would place it near the present village 
of Boverton near Llantwit Major. The lolo MSS., 
p. 362, have the following note: — 

** Boverton is in the parish of Llantwit Major, 
about a mile eastward of the town. Notwith- 
standing the uncertainties of some distin- 
guished authorities respecting the real posi- 
tion of the Roman station Bovium, a close 

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examination of Boverton would convince any 
competent antiquary that it is the locality of 
that station ; for. independent of the approach- 
ing similarity of name, there are extensive 
remains of Roman camps in the vicinity ; and 
at a small distance a considerable number of 
Roman coins, of different emperors, were 
found in 1798, and sold to the Rev. Robert 
NichoU (now Came), of Dimlands, near 
Llantwit, a gentleman of high antiquarian 
taste. Other remains of a concurrent descrip- 
tion have also been discovered there." 
From BoviUM the Via Julia then proceeded in a 
nearly direct line, keeping in sight of the Channel, 
across the Ogwr and Newton Downs, by Kenfig 
to Neath, which is associated with the Nidum of the 
Romans. At Neath there are no existing traces of 
the old Roman station, but antiquaries are generally 
agreed that it existed upon the churchyard of the 
present parish church. 

From Nidum the road was constructed to Leu- 
CABUM, being the last important station in Glamor- 
ganshire on this great military highway. Leu- 
CABUM, is recognised as the present town of Loughor. 
The road then passed into Caermarthenshire, and 
thence through Pembrokeshire to St. David's. 

Besides this main highway of the coast regions, 
which traversed the whole length of Siluria from 
east to west, there were several vicinal, or cross- 
roads, communicating with the most important 
station which the Romans possessed in the mountain 
fastnesses of South Wales, viz., Caeb Bannau, near 
the town of Brecon. 

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The Sarn Hir started from Tibia Amnis encamp- 
ment, and passed in almost a direct line to the neigh- 
bourhood of Caerphilly, then to Pont yr Ystrad on 
the Ehymni river; it then ascended the elevated 
ridge known as Cefn Gellygaer, and entered Breck- 
nockshire at Bryn Oer. On this mountain road was 
the Fort of Gellygaer, recently explored. 

The Sarn Helen started from the Via Julia at the 
station of Nidum (Neath), and traversed the valley 
of the Nedd, thus forming the second road of com- 
munication between the coast of Glamorgan and 
Caer Bannau. The present public road from Neath 
bridge to Ynysygerwyn, above Aberdulais, is con- 
sidered to be on the exact site of this old Eoman road 
of the mountains. A little above Ynysygerwyn it 
turned to the west, and proceeded by Llettybela up 
the Cefnhir mountain, where it may be traced for 
many miles. On the top of the mountain, in close 
proximity to the track of the old road, are the 
remains of numerous cairns, which are believed 
locally to have been the scenes of desperate battles in 
the long ago. Some authorities say that they date 
back to Roman times. The Sarn Helen was used as 
the main road between Neath and Brecon so late as 
the year 1781 a.d., until the present road through the 
Vale of Neath by Eheolau and Aberpergwm was 

There appears to be a consensus of opinion among 
antiquaries that another road of Eoman construc- 
tion led from the neighbourhood of Swansea through 
parts of Caermarthenshire to Llandeilo Fawr, to 
join the Via Devana from Caermarthen Town to 

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Llandovery, and thence to Chester. Traces of this 
road are not so much in evidence to-day, though 
there are various small encampments occupying the 
most elevated summits of Mynydd y Gwair' about 
ten miles to the north of Swansea. The names of 
some of the places along the turnpike road from 
Swansea to Llandeilo lead us to the conclusion that 
there was an ancient trackway between the towns; 
of such we find Pencae-clawdd, Pentref Castell, etc. 

EOMAN ENCAMPMENTS.-The four chief en- 
campments, or Eoman stations, in the county were 
Tibia Amnis, Bovium, Nidum, and Leuoarum. 
There were other encampments, smaller in size, 
situated at convenient distances from the main high- 
way and its vicinal roads. 

One of these encampments has only recently been 
brought to notice by the Cardiff Naturalists' Society, 
and is now known as the Roman Fort of Gelly- 
GAER, in the north-east corner of Glamorgan, at an 
elevation of 780 feet above the level of the 
sea. It stands on one of the spurs of the 
ridge of Cefn Gellygaer . and commands the 
old Eoman road — the Sarn Hir — from Tibia. 
Amnis to the Gaer, near Brecknock. The plan 
of the fort is rectangular, being 404 feet long by 385 
feet broad. In the centre thereof was the Praetorium, 
while buildings of various kinds range themselves 
around this main tenement in most perfect rectilineal 
order. The fort has four entrances, or gates, at each 
point of the compass. The finds during the excava- 
tion were of an inferior kind, and consisted of jar- 
like vases with bulging sides. There was found some 

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Samian ware. Mr. John Ward says: — "No altar 
or image, not even a bronze fibula or pin of Eoman 
age, is recorded as having been found at Gellygaer. 
The coins discovered during the excavations were 
few, and most of the pottery was of the coarsest 

About three miles to the west of Caerau, in the 
neighbourhood of the village of St. Nicholas, is a 
small encampment, having a single vallum. The 
Rev. W. Harris, Prebendary of Llandaff. in the 
Archaiologia Cambrensis, states that in the year 
1762 there was discovered a large bed of iron cinders 
upon a spot about a mile to the north of the encamp- 
ment. By excavating beneath the cinders a coin of 
Antoninus Pius was found, and an earthen jar 
embossed with greyhounds, hares, etc., which unfor- 
tunately crumbled to pieces when removed. 

Close to the Golden Mile Common, near Cow- 
bridge, there is a square camp of small dimensions, 
with a tumulus. On the other, or opposite side of the 
common, there are slight vestiges of a similar 

On Mynydd y Gaer, about two miles and a half 
to the east of Bridgend, there is an encampment of 
rectangular shape, with the corners pointing to the 
four points of the compass. It is very perfect in 

The encampment on Mynydd y Gwair (? Gaer), 
about ten miles to the north of Swansea, and on the 
supposed route of the ancient highway to Llandeilo 
Fawr, appears from its size and position to have 
been a gaer of considerable importance. It for- 

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merly had earthworks of very strong construction 
and great height, and the whole structure in the 
late prehistoric period of our country undoubtedly 
proved a tower of strength and protection in the 
route from the coast to the interior, in the direction 
of the British strongholds on Trichrug Mountain, 
above Llangadock. 

ROMAN OOVERNMENT.-After having con- 
quered Siluria, the Romans evidently intende'd mak- 
ing this country a permanent home for them- 
selves. At Caerlleon (Isca Silurum), their 
chief city of Siluria, they stationed one of their most 
important legions, the 2nd Augustan, of 6,600 
soldiers. They remained at Caerlleon until the early 
years of the fifth century, when the power of Rome 
began to decline, and attacks were made upon the 
imperial city by the barbarous hordes of Northern 
and Central Europe — the Goths and the Huns. This 
made it necessary to withdraw the best part of the 
legion from Siluria, and with it the flower of the 
British youth, to defend Rome herself. In 408 a.d., 
it is recorded that the whole of the Roman forces 
were withdrawn, and the country was left to its own 
government and administration. 

During the whole period of the Roman occupation 
of Siluria, it is a remarkable fact that not a trace of 
its history exists, only what might be read into the 
remains of its cities and encampments, and the finds 
which have been unearthed in these places. There 
is, however, a dim tradition of the martyrdom of 
Julius and Aaron at Caerlleon. This took place 
during the Diocletian persecution about the. end of 

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the third century. These two British priests were 
proto-martyrs with Alban or Verulam, who was put 
to death at Verulam. Gildas records of this persecu- 

" The churches were overthrown, all the copies 
of the Holy Scriptures which could be found 
were burned in the streets, and the chosen 
pastors of God's flock were butchered, to- 
gether with their innocent sheep, in order 
that not a vestige, if possible, might remain 
in some provinces of Christ's religion." 

Enderbie mentions that amongst the most promi- 
nent teachers or leaders of the Christian Church 
were two, named Julius and Aaron, described as 
natives of Caerlleon, who whilst addressing an 
assembly were seized by the Eoman soldiers, and 
after imprisonment, were on a fixed day, and in the 
presence of a multitude of people, torn limb from 
limb, in a most barbarous and cruel fashion. The 
" Book of Llandaff " states that with Julius and 
Aaron there suffered '' a multitude of martyrs.'' 
Enderbie further records: — 

" The venerable and learned Amphibalus, who 
was born, bred, and instructed in learning in • 
Caerlleon, and for some time occupied the 
position of Principal of the College there, 
timorously sought shelter from the fierce 
blast of persecution under the roof of one of 
his former pupils, St. Alban, at Verulam." 

The name of Julius has been perpetuated in the 
neighbourhood of his martyrdom, as may be ob- 
served in the name of the old manorial residence of 

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St. Julian's, on the confines of the Newport borough 

During the Eoman occupation the domestic habits 
and customs of the native British greatly improved. 
It was from the Eomans that they learnt the various 
arts of civilization of that time, not only in the con- 
struction of good roads, as has been shown above, 
but also in the construction of their houses. The 
Britons learnt to make their domiciles square- 
shaped, with open courts or corridors, instead of what 
had been customary previously from a prehistoric 
period, circular-shaped houses, with the fireplace 
on the middle of the floor, and having no escape for 
the smoke but through the open door. The people 
were likewise taught to delight in warm baths, as 
well as luxuries of many kinds, evidence of which 
has been borne by the discoveries recently made at 
Gellygaer Fort, and at Caerwent, in Monmouthshire. 

We find, too, that the vocabulary of the ancient 
British was enriched by the introduction of many 
new words into their language. These words are 
the names of things unknown before in the island, 
and which were brought into use by the Eomans 
' during the period of their settlement. Of such new 
names we have aradr (plough), caer (city), castell 
(castle), CAWS (cheese), ffos (ditch), fpenestb (win- 
dow), oLEw (oil), PONT (bridge), forth (gate),. 
STRYD (street), saeth (arrow), twr (tower), and wal 


A:Jter the complete withdrawal of the Eomans, the 
administration of the affairs of the island was left 

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to the British themselves. The provincial governors 
appear for some time to have been equal to the task 
of administration, and succeeded in repelling the 
attacks of invaders. 

Dr. Ehys, in his " Welsh People," states: — 

" In the continued effort to hold their own, the 
Brjrthons may naturally be expected to have 
at first endeavoured to maintain the offices to 
which Eoman administration had accus- 
tomed them. Thus they would probably have 
somebody filling the office of Count of Britain, 
or, perhaps more likely, of that and the office 
of Emperor all in one, now that the Emperor 
of Rome concerned himself no more with the 
affairs of the island. 

Welsh literature does not fail to supply us- 
with a personage fitted for such a position, 
and that is Arthur, at any rate in so far as- 
Arthur can be treated as a historical man, 
and not as a myth. He exerted himself^ 
according to Nennius, as the Dux Bellobum 
of the kings of the Brittones, and his acti- 
vity manifested itself in all parts of the 

Mr. 0. M. Edwards, in ** Wales," says:— "The 
Cymric attempt at continuing the political unity 
bequeathed by Rome to the west, found expression in 
the romances of Arthur, whose dim and majestic 
presence gradually dominates Welsh political 

Whether such a personage as Prince Arthur ever 

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existed has given rise to much speculation. But 
Owen, in his '' Cambrian Biography," states: — 

" That there was a prince of this name, or who 
had such an appellation given him on 
account of his great exploits as Nennius 
represents, and who often led the Britons to 
battle against the Saxons in the commence- 
ment of the 6th century, there ought not to be 
any doubt : for he is mentioned by Lly warch 
Hen, Myrddin, and Taliesin, poets who were 
his contemporaries." 

Arthur appears to have been chieftain of the 
Silurian Britons for about seven years (510-517 a.d.) 
before being elected to exercise sovereign authority- 
over the States of Britain. He obtained this pre- 
eminence in consequence of his superior abilities. 
The Saxons had already founded several kingdoms, 
the most important of which were East Anglia. 
Sussex, and Wessex. We do not find, however, that 
during Arthur's time the Saxons encroached much 
upon the territory of which Caerlleon was the chief 
town, and where Arthur reigned supreme. 

At Caerlleon it was, that he performed those deeds 
which have been so magnified by ancient chroniclers 
as to assume an air of fantasy and unreality, e.g., 
the following is an account of Arthur's Whitsuntide 
Festival at Caerlleon. as given by John de Wavrin 
in his Chronicles: — 

** When King Arthur (after having conquered 
Gaul) returned to his country of Britain he 
was not a little elevated with joy on account 
of his triumph in Gaul ; and as the festival of 

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Whit Sunday was approaching he deter- 
mined to hold a great feast on that day, and 
to wear his crown and sceptre, with other 
ensigns of royalty. It was his pleasure to 
invite to the solemnity all the kings, dukes, 
earls, and barons who were subject to him, 
that he might renew his pledges of friendship 
with them. So he caused it to be announced 
through all the lands of the west, sending 
ambassadors and heralds to publish it dili- 
gently, as was meet in such case. 

According to the advice of his privy coun- 
sellors, he appointed the feast to be held in the 
city of Caerlleon, which is situated on the 
Thames (? Uske), in a very pleasant country 
near the Severn Sea, and is the wealthiest of 
all the cities of Great Britain. People could 
come up in vessels by the said river as far as 
the city, so it seemed very expedient for those 
beyond sea that the feast should be celebrated 
there. It had on either side beautiful 
meadows and fine woods, while within, it was 
adorned with rich palaces glittering with 
fine gold, so that no doubt it seemed as though 
Rome had been transported to Caerlleon. 

There were two principal churches in the 
city; one, which was founded in honour of 
St. Julius the Martyr, was graced by a com- 
pany of religious nuns, who lived in great 
sanctity ; the other was founded in honour of 
St. Aaron, his companion, and it was the 
Metropolitan Cathedral of the greater part of 

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the churches of Britain. Moreover, in this 
city there was a school of astronomy and the 
other arts by which men search out the 
courses of the planets and learn the marvel- 
lous science of future events, which were 
known to the masters of this study, and were 
shown by them to King Arthur by clear 

Then are given the names of the large company of 
kings, earls, and great men who graced the vast 
assemblage, including " the three archbishops of the 
three Metropolitan Sees, that is to say. of London, of 
York, and of Caerlleon." 

" When all the kings and priests were assembled 
on the festival of Pentecost, the archbishops 
went to the palace to deck King Arthur and 
place the royal diadem on his head, because 
the city was the seat of the holy archbishop, 
Dubricius, and he was appointed to minister 
and perform the divine service that day. 
When the king was apparelled and adorned, 
he was led in great state to the Metropolitan 
Church. On the other hand Guenevere, 
adorned with a royal crown and other ensigns 
which pertain to the majesty of a queen, was 
conducted by several archbishops and bishops 
to the church of St. Julius, etc. 

Before the company broke up (after the 
festivities, which lasted three days) the 
blessed Dubricius, Archbishop of Caerlleon, 
resigned his benefice, and entered a hermit- 

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ago, where he spent the rest of his life in great 

Then follow speeches made by King Arthur and 
others during the festivities. 

Arthur successfully opposed the growinn- power 
of the Saxons, until dissensions arose between him 
and his nephew Modred. The latter joined 
his forces to those of the Saxons, and a battle 
ensued on the borders of Devon, and which is known 
as the " Battle of Camlan.'' It took place in the year 
542 A.D. In that severe conflict Modred was slain by 
the hand of Arthur; but Arthur at the same time 
received his death-wound from Modred. He died 
three days afterwards, and was buried in the isle of 
Afallon, near the spot where Glastonbury Abbey is 

A.round the facts of Arthur's history has been 
woven that cycle of myth and romance, poetry, and 
music which has captivated the intellects of various 
ages. •' It supplied the matter which afforded the 
Normans, the English, the French, and the Ger- 
mans, the material for the noblest romances of the 
Middle Ages," says the late Marquis of Bute. This 
cycle has charmed the genius of the greatest English 
writers of the period of the Renaissance up to the 
present time; Dry den, Milton, Pope. Wordsworth, 
Mathew Arnold, and Tennyson have revelled in tlie 
glamour of the traditions of this remarkable person- 
age. So great an authority as Lord Bacon says of 
him, " There is truth enough to make him famous, 
besides that which is fabulous." 

GiDbon, the historian, says:— "The romance of 

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Arthur, translated into the Latin of Geoffrey of 
Monmouth, and afterwards translated into the 
fashionable idiom of the times, was enriched with 
the various, though* incoherent, ornaments which 
were familiar to the experience, the learning 
or the fancy of the twelfth century. Every nation 
embraced and adorned the popular romance of 
Arthur and the Knights of the Bound Table." 

Mr. 0. M. Edwards has tersely summarised the 
Celtic aspirations of the romances of Arthur in the 
following words: — 

" A Welsh poet wandered from grave to grave, 
asking the simple question over each grave 
on which the rain fell : ' Whose grave is 
this?' One slept under the mighty oak; an- 
other where the surf beat on the shore; one 
on the crest of the hill ; another in the lowly 
dale. One grave was low and narrow; 
another was covered with dead grass and sere 
leaves. It was not known who lay in one 
grave; in another it was well known that 
Cynddylan slept — he of the ruddy sword and 
the white steeds. Among the graves on hill 
and dale and seashore there w^as no grave for 
Arthur. He had become the spirit of unity, 
of independence, of stately wisdom ; * folly it 
would be to think that Arthur has a grave.' " 


One of the most interesting and beautiful legends 
pertaining to King Arthur and his famous Knights, 
and which lives in the traditions of the people of our 
land is the one which has its locale in the moun- 

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tainous region to the north of Neath, at Craig y 
Dinas. There we are told King Arthur and his 
Knights are to this day entombed in an enchanted 
sleep, in a vast cavern. beneath the foundations of the 
Craig. The traditional lore of this interesting episode 
is proudly recounted by the old inhabitants of Cwm 
yr Hepste to this day, and old lolo Morganwg, in his 
inimitable way, took steps to preserve the popular 
legend by embodying it in his manuscripts. The 
legend is as follows : — 

** A Welshman walking over London Bridge, with 
a neat hazel staff in his hand, was accosted by an 
Englishman, who asked him whence he came. * I am 
from my own country,' answered the Welshman, in 
a churlish tone. * Do not take it amiss, my friend," 
said the Englishman ; * if you will only answer my 
questions and take my advice it will be of greater 
benefit to you than you imagine. That stick in your 
hand grew on a spot under which are hid vast 
treasures of gold and silver; and if you remember 
the place, and can conduct me to it, I will put you in 
possession of those treasures.' 

'* The Welshman soon understood that the 
stranger was what he called a cunning man, or con- 
juror, and for some time hesitated, not willing to 
go with him among devils, from whom this magician 
must have derived his knowledge; but he was at 
length persuaded to accompany him to Wales; and 
going to Craig y Dinas, the Welshman pointed out 
the spot whence he had cut the stick. It was from 
the stock or root of a large old hazel tree. This they 
dug up, and under it found a broad stone. 

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" The stone was found to have closed up the 
entrance into a very large cavern, down into which 


they both w^ent. In the middle of the passage hung 
a bell, and the conjuror earnestly cautioned the 
Welshman not to touch it. 

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** They reached the lower part of the cave, which 
was very wide, and there they saw many thousands 
of warriors lying down fast asleep in a large circle, 
their heads outwards. All the warriors were clad in 
bright armour, with their swords, shields, and other 
weapons lying by them, ready to be laid hold on in 
an instant, whenever the bell should ring and awake 
them. All the arms were so highly polished and 
bright that they illumined the cavern as with the 
light of ten thousand flames of fire. They saw 
amongst the warriors one greatly distinguished from 
the rest by his arms, shield, battle-axe, and a crown 
of gold set with the most precious stones, lying by 
his side. 

" In the midst of this circle of warriors they saw 
two very large heaps, one of gold the other of silver. 
The magician told the Welshman that he might take 
as much as he could carry away of either the one or 
the other, but that he was not to take from both the 
heaps. The Welshman loaded himself with gold; 
the conjuror took none, saying that he did not want 
it, that gold was of no use but to those who wanted 
knowledge, and that his contempt of gold had 
enabled him to acquire that superior knowledge and 
wisdom which he possessed. 

" In their way out he cautioned the Welshman 
again not to touch the bell, but if, unfortunately, he 
should do so, it might be of the most fatal conse- 
quence to him, as one or more of the warriors would 
awake, lift up his head, and ask if it was day. 
* Should this happen,' said the cunning man, * you 
must, without hesitation, answer, No, sleep thou 

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242 ,n GLAMORGAN. 

on;. on hearing which he will again lay down his 
head and sleep.' 

^* The Welshman, however, overloaded with gold', 
was not able to pass by the bell without touching it. 
It rang. One of the warriors raised up his head and 
asked, *Is it day?' * No,' answered the Welshman 
promptly, * it is not, sleep thou on.' They got out of 
the cave, laid down the stone over its entrance, and 
replaced the hazel tree. 

" The magician, before he parted from his com- 
panion, advised him to be economical in the use of 
his treasure ; observing that he had, with prudence, 
enough for life. If, however, by unforeseen accident 
he should be again reduced to poverty, he might 
repair to the cave for more. He repeated the caution 
not to touch the bell, but, if he should, to give the 
proper answer, that it was not day, as promptly as 

*' The magician further told him that the distin- 
guished person they had seen was the great King 
Arthur, and the others his warriors. They lay there 
asleep, with their arms ready at hand for the dawn 
of that day when the Ked Dragon and the White 
Dragon should go to war, the loud clamour of which 
would make the earth tremble so much that the bell 
would ring loudly, and the warriors awake, take up 
their arms, and destroy all the enemies of the Cymry. 
Then the Cymry should repossess the Island of 
Britain, and re-establish their own king and govern- 
ment at Caerlleon. They would then be governed 
with justice, and blessed with peace so long as the 
world endured. 

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A PpPUliAR tEGlEND. 2^3 

** The time came when the Welshman's treasure 
was all spent. He again went to the cave, and as 
before, overloaded himself. On his way out he 
touched the bell, and it rang. A warrior lifted up 
his head, asking if it was day. The Welshman, who 
had covetously overloaded himself, was quite out of 
breath from labouring under his burden. He was 
seized with terror, and became unable to give the 
necessary answer. At once some of the warriors got 
up, took the gold away from him, and beat him un- 
mercifully. They threw him out of the cave, and 
drew the stone over the entrance. The Welshman 
never recovered the effects of that beating, but 
remained a cripple as long as he lived, and was in 
very poor circumstances. 

*' He often returned with some of his friends to 
Craig y Dinas. They could not, however, find the 
spot, though they dug over, seemingly, every inch of 
the hill. He lived in this crippled and poor condition 
for a long time, as a warning to all, of the evils which 
arise from a want of knowledge and prudence." 


From the glamour of the romances of King 
Arthur and his Court, it behoves us to descend to the 
mundane and matter-of-fact records of the Liber 
Landavensis and Brut y Tywysogion. There it is 
chronicled that the first church at Llandaff was 
built by a regulus or sub-regulus named Tewdrig ab 
Teithfalch, commonly called St. Tewdrig the 
Martyr, who is supposed to have reigned over Gwlad 
Essyllt, i.e., Gwent and Morganwg, some time in the 

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6th century. Being of a religious turn of mind, he is 
said to have founded the See of Llandafif, endowing 
it with all lands between the Tafif and the Ely. After 
exercising sovereign control for a great number of 
years he resigned the reins of government to his son, 
Meurig, and retired to a hermitage at Tintern to 
spend the closing years of his life in peace. 

Meurig ab Tewdrig, whose name is perpetuated 
in that of PwU Meurig, near Mathern, having 
assumed control of Tir Essyllt, the West Saxons 
commenced to encroach upon the territory to the 
west of the Severn. Already they had possessed 
themselves of Gloucester, Cirencester, and Bath, and 
had, it is said, subdued the Britons of Cornwall. 
They pressed Meurig so hard that he was constrained 
to appeal for the intervention and succour of his 
venerable father, who bore the reputation of never 
having been defeated in battle. 

The Liber Landavensis testifies that the 
aged Tewdrig emerged from his retirement 
to save his country from falling into the 
clutches of the "pagans," as the Saxons were 
then called. The battle was fought near Tintern, 
and the Saxons were put to flight, but a lance thrown 
at random as a parting-shot by one of the enemy 
struck the veteran king, and he fell mortally 
wounded. This event is commemorated by a mural 
tablet in Mathern Church, where Tewdrig com- 
manded his people to bury him. The inscription on 
the tablet is said to have been written by Bishop 
Godwin, of Llandaff, and reads as follows: — 

" Here lyeth entombed the body of Theodoric, 

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King of Morganuck or Glamorgan, commonly 
called Saint Thewdrick, and accounted a 
Martyr, because he was slain in a battle 
against the Saxons, being then Pagans, and 
in defence of the Christian religion. The 
battle was fought at Tintern, where he 
obtained a great victory. He died here, being 
on his way homeward, three days after the 
battle, having taken order with Meuric. his 
son, who succeeded him in his kingdom, that 
in the same place he should happen to decease, 
a church should be built, and his body buried 
in the same, which was accordingly per- 
formed in the year 600 a.d." 

A church was built there, and called Merthyr- 
Tewdrig, since corrupted into Mathern. The Bishops 
of Llandaff had a princely residence at Mathern for 
many ages. 

MORGAN MWYNPAWR—rhe Saxons made 
frequent irruptions into Gwlad Essyllt, and 
created much devastation and pillage by their 
oft-recurring forays. So troublesome had they 
become in the 6th century that Morgan Mwyn- 
fawr (the courteous), king of the territory, and who, 
according to the Welsh Triads, was one of Arthur's 
Koyal Knights, found it advisable to remove his 
Court from Caerlleon farther to the westward for 

In the lolo MSS. we have the following very 
interesting transcript of an ancient manuscript 
(Llewelyn Sion's) concerning Morgan Mwynfawr: 

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" Morgan Mwynfawr was King of Glamorgan ; 
— and it was he who gave this name to that 
country. He was a good, merciful, valiant, 
profoundly wise, courteous, and humane 
king; excelling all his contemporaries in 
gentleness and generosity. He established 
good and just laws and institutes for the wel- 
fare of his dominion; and so greatly was he 
beloved in his country that when he went to 
war all chose to accompany him rather than 
remain at home. He was invariably vic- 
torious over his enemies ; and made a law that 
neither himself, nor any of his men, should 
exercise cruelty either to a vanquished foe, or 
any other living being; and that no illegal 
deed should be perpetrated in tyranny, nor 
any law enacted from aversion or envy. All 
this caused such pervading love to be 
cherished throughout the land, that thence 
sprang the proverb, — * The suavity of Gla- 

He established an ordinance that enjoined 
the appointment of twelve wise, erudite, pious, 
and merciful men to determine all claims; 
the King being their supreme counsellor. 
This act was called the Apostolic law; be- 
cause it is thus that Christ and his twelve 
apostles judge the world; consequently, so 
should the King and his twelve wise men 
judge the country in mercy and mildness; 
that in this manner, judgment, justice, and 
mercy should be administered according to 
the nature and equity of the claim. He like- 
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• wise ordained that the testimony of anyone 
should be rejected in all matters whatever of 

• church and state, who should conduct himself 
in an impiously haughty, ferocious, or cruel 
manner, to any living being; whether a 
neighbour or a stranger, a friend or foe — ^ 
Cambrian or an alien; and that no credence 
whatever should be given to his evidence until 
the expiration of a year and a day after he 
should have, in public court, both civil and 
ecclesiastic, abjured, by wood, field, and 
MOUNTAIN, his wrongful conduct, whether in 
word or deed ; adducing, at the same time, evi- 
dence to testify, from conscientious know- 
ledge, his upright, just, and repentant con- 
duct towards all; and that he had, to his 
utmost ability, rectified the injustice he had 
committed; but upon doing this he became 
re-admitted to his national rights, under the 
decision of wise and pious counsellors. 

He erected a Court at Margam, a place 
which he raised to a Bishoprick; l^hich re- 

• tained that distinction during the lives of five 
bishops; when it became united to Llandaff. 
Morgan, when young, was of a wild and 
impetuous disposition; but he subsequently 
adopted a better course, and, repenting of his 
irrationality and error, became the best king 
that ever lived." 

OEYWySIG. — Within the confines of Morgan wg 
there was a smaller kingdom, ruled by a sub- 
regulus. This was called the kingdom of Glywysig, 

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and comprised the district '* lying between the river 
Usk on the side of Gwent, and the river Eleirch, 
otherwise the greater Rhymni, on the side of Kibbor, 
in Glamorgan." Within this territory was the present 
hundred of Wentloog, the tract of alluvial moorland 
lying between Newport and Cardiff. 

There are many references to this little kingdom in 
ancient Welsh documents. Occasionally, we find it 
overshadowing in importance Morganwg, and it is 
even referred to, to the exclusion of the larger terri- 
tory, as in the following quotation from Golyddan, 
a 7th century bard: — 

"Na chryned Dyfed na Olywyaig." 
Let neither Dyfed nor Glywysig tremble. 

(Liber. Land., page 379.) 

There were nine kings of Gly wysig, the first being 
Glywys, from whom the territory was named. 
Gwynlliw Filwr (the warrior), the founder of the 
Church of St. Woolos, Newport, was the second. 
When he renounced his kingdom, and devoted the 
remainder of his life to religion, the territory, by 
right of » birth, devolved upon his eldest son, St. 
Cadocus, of Llancarfan. But Cadog refused the 
sovereignty, preferring to continue the life of a 
recluse in the Church. He, therefore, gave his rights 
to the kingdom to his kinsman, Morgan Mwynfawr, 
of Glamorgan. 

After the death of the ninth king, Howel ab Ehys, 
the kingdom of Glywysig reverted, by right of para- 
mount sovereignty, into union with the kingdom of 

SAXON INCURSIONS.— In the time of Aidan, 

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the fifth bishop of Llandaff, Caradoc of Llan- 
carvan records, under date 720 a.d., that 
Ethelbald, King of Mercia, with a large army 
devastated Gwent and Morganwg. He pillaged 
and destroyed the churches of the diocese of Llan- 
daff. At Llandaff, the Bishop, with several of hi& 
clergy, was murdered in the execution of reli- 
gious duties in the Cathedral Church. 

Ethelbald paid another visit to this district in 728 
A.D., with the intention of conquering a poition of the 
eastern territory, and adding it to his kingdom of 
Mercia, as Caradoc states, " being very desirous to 
annex that fertile and pleasant country lying 
between the rivers Severn and Wye to his kingdom 
of Mercia, entered Wales with a puissant army." 
The Cymry gave him battle at *' Mynydd Carno," 
now called Mynydd y Cyrn, near CrickhowelL 
Powell's " Cambria " designates it " a bloody and 
sore battle, but the victory proved very dubitable.'' 
The Brut emphasises the fact that the Cymry gained 
a complete victory, but with great loss of men, the 
Saxons being driven across the Usk, then in flood, in 
which large numbers of them were drowned. 

RHYS AB ARTHFAEL.— The line of succes- 
sion of the Kings of Morganwg subsequent 
to the time of Morgan Mwynfawr, as given 
in the various ancient manuscripts, appears to 
be rather contradictory, and difficult to reconcile. 
All agree, however, in stating that a certain Rhys 
became king in the latter part of the eighth century. 
Truman's MS. distinguishes him as Rhys ab Arth- 
FAEL. Hugh Thomas's MS., transcribed by lolo 

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Morganwg, calls him Rhys ab Einydd ab Morgan 
Mwymfawr: while the Coy church MS. styles him 
Rhys ab Ithel. 

Williams, in his " History of Monmouthshire," 
adopts the designation Rhys ab Arthfael, testifying 
that he was a wise and able ruler, and that he en- 
couraged his people to cultivate the land. 

DANISH VISITS.— After intermittent ravages 
by the Saxons during a period of three cen- 
turies, in which they, however, made no pro- 
gress in acquiring a foothold in Gwent or 
Morganwg, to the west of Offa's dyke, the Danes, 
or *' Black Pagans," of the chronicles, put in an 
appearance in the western parts of Morganwg under 
Hubba, in 877 a.d., when they laid waste large 
stretches of country, and ruthlessly slaughtered and 
despoiled the inhabitants. 

The " Annales Cambriac " and Brut record, 
under date 891 a.d., another visit to Gwent 
and Morganwg, when they appeared in the 
neighbourhood of St. Donates. Having landed, they 
burnt the monasteries of Llantwit Major and Llan- 
carvan. They again entered their ships, and sailed 
up the Channel, with the intention of visiting Caer- 
Ueon to despoil it. But Morgan Hen, King of Mor- 
ganwg, met them below the city and compelled them 
to flee to their ships ; then they sailed for Ireland. 

In 896 A.D., they are described as having " swept 
across England, and spoiled Brecheiniog (Breck- 
nock), Morganwg, Gwent, Buallt (Builth), and 

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MORGAN HAN.— The Morgan Hen (referred to 
in the above paragraph) became King of Morganwg 
in 872 A.D., and is said by the Brut and Liber Lan- 
DAVENSis to have lived until the year 1001 a.d., thus 
attaining a ripe old age. He is known by the other 
names of Morgan Mawr (the Great), and Morgan 
Mwynfawr the Second, or, as recorded in Hugh 
Thomas's MS., Morgan Min-fawr (the great lip). 
He was very much engaged during his reign in 
repelling the repeated attacks of marauding parties 
of Saxons and Danes, who, as already shown, did 
great damage to the churches and other religious 
institutions in his territory. 

He, upon one occasion, was in conflict with the 
prince of Deheubarth. Owen ab Hjnvel Dda, of the 
House of Dinefawr, on some pretext or other laid 
claim to some portion of Morgan Hen's territory in 
the northern districts of the latter's kingdom, viz., 
Ystradyw and Ewyas. Owen took forcible possession 
of Ewyas, in the Vale of Usk. The territory in dispute 
was referred to the decision of the Saxon monarch, 
Edgar, in 962 a.d., who, having submitted it to the 
consideration of a council of his nobles, gave his 
award in favour of Morgan Hen, and forbade the 
further encroachments of Owen ab Hywel Dda 
upon pain of excommunication. The Welsh 
Chronicles tell us that firm peace was established 
between Edgar and Morgan Hen; the latter under- 
took to pay Edgar an annual tribute of 100 milch 
•cows, while Edgar, on the other hand, engaged to 
support Morgan Hen in his claim to the whole terri- 
tory of the kingdom of Morganwg. 

In the Liber Land. (Cwtta Gyfarwydd Mor- 

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ganwg) there is the following reference to thi& 
matter in dispute: — 

" When Edgar was King of England, and 
Hywel Dda (?), the son of Cadell, was prince 
of South Wales, Morgan Hen held all Mor- 
ganwg in peaceable possession, until Hywel 
JDda endeavoured forcibly to dispossess him 
of Ystrad Yw and Ewyas. When Edgar 
heard this, he summoned Hywel Dda, Morgan 
Hen, and his son Owen to attend him at his 
palace in London. Having enquired into the 
merits of their dispute, it was determined by 
the just judgment of the Court, that Hywel 
had wrongfully deprived Morgan Hen and 
Owen, his son, of Ystrad Yw and Ewyas, and 
it was, therefore, awarded that Hywel Dda 
should give them up for ever. 

After this, King Edgar granted and gave 
to Owen, the son of Morgan Hen, Ystrad Yw 
and Ewyas, within the bishopric of Llandaff, 
and confirmed it by deeds to him and to his- 
heirs for ever, witnessed by all the Arch- 
bishops, Bishops, Earls, and Barons of Eng- 
land and Wales, a curse being denounced 
against all who should deprive the parish of 
Teilo (Bishopric of Llandaff), and the lord- 
ship of Glamorgan of these lands, and a bless- 
ing invoked on all who preserved them to- 
their right owner for ever. The award which 
Edgar thus made is preserved in the Chapter- 
house of Llandaff." 

There is evidently a serious discrepancy in the name 

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MORGAN H^N. 253 

of one of the personages as recorded by the Liber 
Landavensis. Hjrwel Dda had been dead since the 
year 948 a.d., whilst Edgar did not ascend the throne 
of England until 957 a.d. So it is probable that the 
prince who had given trouble in the above transac- 
tion was Owen, the son of Hywel Dda. The Brut 
recognises the offending prince as Owen ab Hywel 

The Brut records, under date 972 a.d., that 
Edgar's peaceful intentions towards the princes of 
Morganwg were in some way or other violated, for 
in that year he appears before Caerlleon with a large 
belligerent force. He is said to have plundered all 
the churches, abbeys, and houses in the district, and 
to have exacted from Morgan Hen and his son a 
tribute of 300 wolves' heads annually. 

William of Malmesbury and the Welsh Chronicle 
say that the tribute ceased in four or five years for 
want of wolves. 

In the year 976 a.d., the Danes once more troubled 
the shores of the Bristol Channel. They devastated 
the greater part of Gwent and Morganwg; and the 
city of Caerlleon is said to have been utterly 
destroyed by them upon this occasion. 

With Morgan Hen, and his immediate successors, 
we are brought to the end of the 10th century. The 
Welsh Chronicles record that Owen and Ithel, the 
sons of Morgan Hen, were joint reguli of the countrj^ 
during the lifetime of their father. Owen is said by 
the lolo MSS. to have lived at Ystrad Owen, where 
he had erected a castle and a church, and that he 
and his wife were buried there. It is generally 

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assumed Hhat the large tumulus within the church- 
yard was raised over the grave of Owen and his wife. 

Ithel resided chiefly at the summer-house which 
he had built for himself at a place afterwards called 
Ton Ithel Ddu, now designated Tondu, near Bridg- 
end. He bore the reputation of being a valiant and 
potent king, and is said to have fortified Cardiff 
Castle, where he held his juridical courts. He was 
called Ithel Ddu (Ithel the dark), from the dark com- 
plexion of his hair and beard. 

Ithel was succeeded in the sovereignty of Mor- 
ganwg by his son Gwrgant, a wise and generous 
prince, who is said to have restored into practice the 
laws of Morgan Mwynfawr and Ehys ab Arthfael. 
He gave a large common, between Merthyr and the 
Vale of Neath, to his poor subjects in perpetuity, 
** for raising com and breeding of sheep and cattle." 
This was called after him — Waun-Hir-Wrgant, i.e., 
Gwrgant's Long-meadow. Hence the designation of 
the neighbourhood at Aberdare to the present day, 
Hirwaun. Gwrgant died in 1030 a.d. 

Caradoc of Llancarvan records that Gwrgant had 
associated with him in the administration of Mor- 
ganwg, his uncle Hywel, the third son of Morgan 
Hen, and that lestyn, who was a profligate and dis- 
reputable character, had no share in the administra- 
tion of affairs until the death of Hywel in 1043. 
During HyweFs sovereignty the English made a 
rush upon Morganwg, and burnt the " castles of 
Dindryfan (Dunraven) and Threfyfered (Boverton)." 

Iestyn ab Gwrgant became ruler of Morganwg in 
1043 A.D. He had married Denis, the daughter of 

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Bleddyn ab Cynfyn, Prince of Powys, thus associat- 
ing himself with the powerful Gwyneddian family. 
This marriage had taken place before the death of 
Gwrgant ; and the latter had given his son the dis- 
trict called Tref Essyllt, upon which he built a 
castle, which he designated Denis Powys, in honour 
of his wife. 

This unscrupulous prince connects us with the 
period of the Norman conquest of Glamorgan, and 
the consequent termination of the British dominion 
of Morganwg. It is now necessary to take a retro- 
spective glance to assure ourselves as to the locale or 
seat of government of the princes whom we have 
passed in review in the above pages. We can not do 
better than quote the opinion of Dr. Nicholas, who 
says: — 

" As to the place of residence or castle of these 
princes of Glamorgan, the old historians and 
chroniclers say little. In our day history is 
expected to furnish itself with the verifying 
apparatus of places, dates, coherence, and suc- 
cession of events ; but the monkish chroniclers 
were above recording such trifling details. 
They knew them all themselves at the time, 
and, not being over-gifted with imagination, 
perhaps assumed that others through all time 
would know them equally well. But as most 
of the chronicles were probably written as a 
means of whiling away idle time, or for the 
information of the limited society of the 
monastery or family, and with no definite his- 
torical purpose, or thought of future ages 

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panting in curiosity and alert in criticism, 
the looseness, contradictions, strange lacunae, 
and narrowness of range by which they are 
characterized are intelligible and largely 

The Coychurch MS. tells us that Morgan 
Mwynfawr — said there to be the son of King 
Arthur — on retiring from Caerlleon, and 
making his home in Glamorgan, resided some- 
times at Cardiff, sometimes at Radir, 
and at other times at Margam. That 
Cardiff had a British fortress, and was 
a seat of power, and therefore in all 
probability, the residence of the ruler 
of the surrounding country before the 
Roman settlement, is all but certain ; and that 
the Normans found it a place of similar dig- 
nity is equally credible. 

Dunraven has also the credit of having 
been a British princely residence under the 
name Dindryfan." 


Previous to the events which Led to the immediate 
conquest of this county, we find from Mathew Paris 
that William the Conqueror in 1081 a.d., came into 
South Wales intending to proceed against the prince 
of Deheubarth. Upon this occasion he is said to 
have set free many hundreds of Norman and 
Saxon prisoners, who were detained as slaves. 
The Welsh offering him no opposition, he 
accepted their homage, and then changed the 

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character of the expedition from being a campaign 
of a punitive nature, into a pilgrimage to the 
shrine of St. David. He is said to have made there 
costly offerings to propitiate the saint. Thus, he 
endeavoured to make himself popular in Wales by 
making the natives believe that he was a very reli- 
gious king, and emphasised what then passed as a 
proverb : 

" Eonia semel quantum, bis dat Menevia tantum," 
i.e., that two pilgrimages to St. David's were equal 
in merit to one to Eome. 


It was not, however, until the death of the first Nor- 
man king that circumstances arose which gave the 
Normans the opportunity to secure a foothold in the 
Principality. There had been a feud of long con- 
tinuance between Ehys ab Tewdwr, prince of Deheu- 
barth, and lestyn ab Gwrgant, prince of Morganwg. 
This feud, authorities trace to various sources. But 
there was unquestionably great dissatisfaction 
among the minor princes of the Principality that 
Khys ab Tewdwr, although a lineal descendant of 
Hywel Dda, had obtained the sovereignty of Deheu- 
barth; several of them proved themselves most 
willing and ready to join hands in harassing him. 

In 1089 A.D., upon the death of Cadifor ab CoU- 
wyn, prince of Dyfed, the chieftains of that district, 
led by Einion ab Collwyn, the brother of Cadifor, 
organized an attack upon Rhys ab Tewdwr. They 
united their forces, and marched on Llandudoch, 
where Rhys occasionally resided, thinking to take 

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him unawares. They were, however, frustrated in 
their designs, for Rhys confronted them with a con- 
siderable body of his men. In the conflict which 
ensued the two sons of Cadifor were slain; Gruffydd 
ab Meredydd, lord of Aberteifi, was captured, and 
subsequently beheaded as a traitor. Unfortunately, 
Einion ab CoUwyn, the chief instigator and arch- 
plotter, succeeded in making his escape. This ulti- 
mately proved of dire consequence to the independ- 
ence of Alorganwg and Deheubarth. He fled to the 
court of lestyn ab Gwrgant, the old adversary of 
Rhys ab Tewdwr, and at this court there was con- 
cocted a scheme, which, in its inception, meant the 
downfall and destruction of Rhys ab Tewdwr, out in 
its finality, proved the destruction of both Rhys and 

Einion ab Collwyn was an experienced cam- 
paigner, for he had been an officer in a responsible 
position in the army of William the Conqueror in 
Normandy, and in other places on the continent. He 
was, therefore, well acquainted with the leading 
Norman barons, and volunteered his services to 
lestyn to pay a visit to the Norman Court, and there 
obtain the aid of certain Norman adventurers to 
assist them against the prince of Deheubarth. lestyn 
readily consented to such a proposal, and promised 
Einion as a reward, the hand of his daughter, 
Nest, with the lordship of Meisgyn. 

Robert Fitzhamon, a kinsman of the king, was 
easily prevailed upon to take up arms; and he was 
joined by 12 knight-companions, 24 squires, 
and 3,000 men at arms. Cedrych ab Gweithfoed, 

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lord of Ceredigon, joined the confederacy against 
Rhys ab Tewdwr, and sent 2,000 men; whilst Einion 
ab Collwyn brought together 1,000 of his men. 
These, with ,Iestyn*s *' Men of Morganwg," formed a 
formidable army to suppress the gallant veteran 
prince of Deheubarth. 

Rhys, having heard of the compact arrayed 
against him, collected all his forces together, and 
hastened from Dinefawr to meet them. He encoun- 
tered the confederate host at Hirwaun Wrgant, and 
here was fought one of the most desperate and bloody 
encounters which ever took place on Glamorgan soil. 
Long and fierce was the conflict ; the men . of 
Deheubarth were by degrees compelled to fall back, 
but not without destroying more than the half of the 
forces of lestyn, Cedrych, and Einion, which 
formed the vanguard of the confederate host; 
the number of the Norman slain was very few. Rhys 
is said to have retired utterly defeated, and in 
endeavouring to escape, the Welsh Chronicle states 
that he fled to " Glyn Rhodnais," i.e., Rhondda 
Valley, where he was pursued and captured by 
lestyn, and there beheaded. The name of the spot 
where it is assumed Rhys was taken and 
beheaded is called Pen Rhys to this day. 

Jones, in his " History of Brecknockshire," however, 
states that the prince of Deheubarth retreated after 
the engagement to Caer-Bannau, near Brecknock, 
then the seat of administration of the lordship of 
Brycheiniog, and the residence of his brother-in-law, 
Bleddyn ab Maenarch, and that he lost his life 
shortly afterwards in assisting Bleddyn against Ber- 
nard Xewmarch, one of Fitzhamon's knights. 

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200 QLAMOmiAN. 

In the slaughter following this calamitous battle 
of Hirwaun, Goronwy, the son of Rhys ab Tewdwr, 
was slain; and Cynan, his natural son, in making 
his escape for home with the remnant of the Dine- 
fawr troops, was drowned in the bog of Crymlyn, 
between Briton Ferry and Swansea. 

After the Normans had been suitably rewarded, 
they returned to their ships in the Penarth 
Roads with the intention of sailing for Eng- 
land. Einion now put in his claim for the 
hand of lestyn's daughter, and the lordship 
of Meisgyn. But the prince of Morganwg, thinking 
his position secure, ridiculed Einion*s pretensions, 
and tauntingly replied that he would do better for 
his daughter than bestow her on the betrayer of his 
country. Einion was not the man to be put off in this 
manner, and stung by such a reproach, he hastened 
to the seashore in quest of Fitzhamon and his retinue. 
It did not take much parleying to prevail upon the 
Normans to return. Einion was joined by others of 
the chieftains of Morganwg:, who were sick at heart 
of the unprincipled tyranny and breach of faith of 
lestyn. They became willing instruments in the 
subjugation of their native country to a foreign 
adventurer. The lolo MSS. have well put it in the 
following words: — 

'* After the departure of the Normans, contentiuu 
sprang up between lestyn, Einion, and 
Cedrych ; whereupon the two latter went after 
the mercenaries, and having related the in- 
justice of lestyn's conduct, invited them back 
to Glamorgan; a country, they said, that 

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might easily be won from lestyn, who was 
so ill-beloved there that a large portion of 
the Welsh were quite hostile to him. They 
expatiated, also, on the fertility of Glamorgan, 
being so rich in com, pasturage, and all pro- 
duce beneficial to man or beast. Robert 
and his men heard all this gladly; and re- 
turning, expostulated with lestyn on his con- 
duct, but he behaved with great arrogance 
and scornful pride towards them ; so the con- 
tention ended in war; and a severe conflict 
took place adjacent to Cardiff, on the Great 
Heath, where lestyn was vanquished. But 
the Normans so marshalled their combined 
army, that Cedrych was placed foremost in 
battle, until more than half of his men fell; 
consequently. Sir Robert found himself at the 
head of a more numerous force than the 
remaining troops of Einion, Cedrych, and 
other Cambrian chieftains on their side; so 
he got the upper hand of the country, and 
thus became enabled to select as he pleased. 
He, therefore, appropriated to himself and 
retainers the rich vale ; but the lands allotted 
to Einion and Cedrych, and their adherents, 
were mostly the hilly districts. The portion 
Sir Robert reserved to himself consisted ojf 
lestyn's right, being the Supremacy and 
Koyal Prerogatives of Glamorgan, with the 
castles, estates, and just claims pertaining 
thereto ; that is to say, — the Castle of Cardiff 
and its attached lands ; the Castle of Kenffig 
and its estate; the royalties of Tir larll 

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(Earl's land) and Glyn Rhondda, with the 
manor of Cowbridge and its liberties ; also the 
manors of Boverton and Llantwit Major, with 
their liberties; the two latter manor towns 
being appropriated for the com and dairy of 
the splendid mansion that he had at Boverton, 
where he usually resided and held his courts 
in summer." 

Of the subsequent history of the despised lestyn, 
ancient records state that he first of all crossed the 
Severn, and took up his abode at the Abbey of Glas- 
tonbury; he then resided for a time at Bath; and 
finally he is said to have lived at the ** Monastery of 
Llangenys, in Gwent, where he died at the ripe old 
age of 129 years." 

In the division of the rich lands of the Vale of 
Glamorgan by Fitzhamon, we find from the Brut 
that the names of the twelve knights, with the terri- 
tory assigned to each, were as follows: — 

Name. Territory. 

Eobert Fitzhamon. Caerdyf, Trefufered, Cenffis, with ad- 
joining lands. 

William de Londres. Osrmore. 

Richard de Granvyl. Nedd, G«»teU-Nedd (Neath). 

PasanuB de Turbervill. Coyty (Ooed-ty, near Bridgend). 

Robert de St. Qnintin. Llanblethian (St. Quintin's to-day). 

Richard de Syward. Talafan, or Tal y Fan. 

Gilbert de Humfrevill. Penmark. 

Reginald de Sully. Solly. 

Roger de Berkrolles, or Eaat Orchard — St. Athan'a. 


Peter le Soore. Peterston — Llanbedr y Fro. 

John le Fleming. St. G-eorge — Llanyfelwyn. 

Oliver de St. John. Fonmon — Aberbernant. 

William de Esterling St. Donates— Irlanwerydd. 


Having thus provided for his own knight-com- 
panions, Fitzhamon next made some provision for 

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the descendants of the exiled lestyn, and also for the 
Welsh princes who had assisted him in the conquest. 

Name. Territory. 

<3aradoG ab lestyn. Royal lordship of Aberavan, and territory 

between rivers Avan and Nedd. 
Hiyiwel ab lestyn. Lordship of Llantryddyd. 

Mados «b lestyn. „ „ Rhuthyn. 

^hys ab lestyn. „ „ Soflen, comprising districts 

between Nedd and Tawe. 
Meurig ab Gruffydd ab Lordship of Coetty. 

Einion ab Collwyn. Lordship of Meisgyn, with town and 

castle of Llantrisant, and the hand of 

Bobert ab Seisyllt. Lordship of Maes Essyllt, probably dis- 

trict in which Beaupre Castle stands. 
Cedrych ab -Gweithfoed. Lord»hip of Senghenydd, between Tafif 

and Rhymni. Ivor Bach was his 


It will be seen from the above distribution of Mor- 
ganwg that Sir Robert Pitzhamon had judiciously 
reserved the best territories for himself. He had also 
taken care to keep in his own hands the market 
towns of Glamorgan, of which there were only three 
at this period, viz., Cardiff, Cowbridge, and Kenflg. 
Thus he was able to appropriate for his own ex- 
chequer all the tolls upon merchandise such as 
wool, hides, fleeces or sheep skins, and wines, etc. 


The Normans having once established themselves in 
-their territories, under the instigation of Fitzhamon 
next set about to abrogate the ancient laws and 
customs of the Cymry, which had prevailed from 
time immemorial. They endeavoured to introduce 
in their place the Feudal System, which so exten- 
sively prevailed in England from the time of Wil- 
liam the Conqueror. Of Fitzhamon' s methods, a 

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description will be found under the history of Car- 
diff Castle. 

But strong as was the Norman baron's arm, he 
could not make the Welsh to submit to laws which 
deprived them of every vestige of their ancient 
liberties and customs, which had been secured to 


them for many generations by the code of Hywel 
Dda, and confirmed by Morgan Mwynfawr. It was 
a practice most repugnant to the Welsh spirit not 
to be allowed to hold or cultivate any of their long- 
held territory, except by doing homage to the new- 
comer. The Cymry very soon turned upon their 

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feudal lord, and with such good effect that he was 
glad to concede to them some of their ancient 
liberties. Their determination to be governed by 
their ancient laws and customs accounts for the 
mysterious designations in contiguous districts of 
such as the following: — A van Anglican^ and Avan 
Wallicana, Coity Anglicana and Coity Walli- 
cana, Welsh Dowlais and English Dowlais, 
Welsh Hay and English Hay, Welsh Talgarth 
and English Talgarth. The English in these dis- 
tricts were governed by English or Anglo-Norman 

A remarkable instance of the tenacity of the 
native inhabitants of Morganwg for their ancient 
laws occurred in the year 1094 a.d. The events are 
recorded in the pages of the " Book of Aberpergwm." 

" The men of Morganwg and Gwaen-Llwg arose 
en masse (" yn un llu "), overthrew the castles 
of the French, killing nearly all the defen- 
ders; and Paen Twrbil, lord of the castle 
of Coety, was leader of th^ people of the 
country. He would not hold his lands except 
in right of his wife, the heiress of Meurig ap 
Gruffydd ap lestyn; he led his hosts to Caer- 
dydd, and began to destroy the castle. When 
Robert ap Amon (Fitzhamon) beheld this and 
asked the reason, Paen Twrbil made known 
that the Cymry would only consent to be 
governed according to the ancient privileges 
and customs of their country and the laws of 
Howell Dda, and would have their lands free 
i.e., from socage, or military service ; and on 

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account of the greatness of the multitude, 
Eobert deemed it well to follow the course 
that would satisfy the Cymry. The country 
then had rest; Paen Twrbil held his lands 
and privileges by right of his wife ; the people 
of the country held their lands free, and 
properly enjoyed their privileges and cus- 
toms, as they had always done before the 
time of the French. When this state of things 
was fully settled in Morganwg, many of the 
Welsh nation came from South Wales and 
North Wales to Morganwg, to enjoy a quieter 
life than was found in the other countries." 

It appears strange that one of Fitzhamon's 
knights, upon whom it is supposed he had bestowed 
great privileges and power, should so soon rebel 
from his fealty. The following romantic story, re- 
corded by Sir Edward ^Eansel in his Manuscript, 
which bears the impress of corroborative accuracy, 
explains the revolt: — 

" After eleven of the knights had been endowed 
with lands for their services. Pain Turber- 
vill asked Sir Eobert where was his share ; to 
which Sir Robert answered, * Here are men, 
and here are arms ; go, get it where you can.' 
So Pain Turbervill with the men went to 
Coity, and sent to Meurig, the Welsh lord to 
ask if he would yield up the castle; where- 
upon Meurig brought out his daughter Sara 
(otherwise called " Assar ) by the hand, and 
passing through the army with his sword in 
his right hand, came to Pain Turbervill, and 

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told him if he would marry his daughter, and 
so come like an honest man into his castle, 
that he would yield it to him quickly ; * and 
if not,* said he, * let not the blood of any of 
our men be lost, but let this sword and arm 
of mine, and those of yours, decide who shall 
call this castle his own.' 

Upon this. Pain Turbervill drew his sword, 
and took it by the blade in his left hand, and 
gave it to Meurig, and with his right hand 
embraced the daughter; and after settling 
every matter to the liking of both sides he 
went with her to church and married her, 
and so came to the lordship by true right of 
possession, and being so counselled by Meu- 
rig, kept in his castle 2,000 of the best of his 
Welsh soldiers." 
The manuscript further states that Turbervill 
having come into peaceful possession of the lordship 
of Coity, without the aid of Fitzhamon and his men, 
Avas loath to acknowledge the premier baron's 
suzerainty by paying him 

" the NOBLE that was due to the chief lord 
every year, to Sir Eobert, but chose to pay it 
to Caradoc ab lestyn, as the person he owned 
as chief lord of Glamorgan," — ^thus siding 
visibly with the native race. '* This caused 
hot disputes, but Pain, with the help of his 
wife's brother, got tlie better, till in some 
years after that it was settled that all the 
lords should hold of the seigniory, which was 
made up of the whole number of lords in 
junction together." 

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The Welsh were encouraged in their rebellion, 
and some time later succeeded in defeating a large 
force of the Normans in a pitched battle at a place 
called Gelly Darfawg. There were brought together 
upon this occasion the men of " Morganwg, Gwent, 
Gower, and Gwaenllwg,' who were prepared to 
make, as it were, one great attempt for their liberties. 
This, undoubtedly, led the Normans to reflect upon 
the insecurity of their position, and to take measures 
to prevent a repetition of the patriotic outbreak. 
Reinforcements were brought from England under 
the Earl of Arundel, and the Normans assumed the 
aggressive and commenced to retaliate. The Welsh 
upon this occasion pretended to retreat before the 
Normans, and drew them into the mountains on the 
borders between Brecknock and Glamorgan, where 
the hilly nature of the country gave the lightly- 
armed Cymry a decided advantage over the heavj^- 
armed troops of the Normans. The Welsh now made 
a firm stand, and rushed upon their enemies 
like vultures, driving them back to Gellygaer. Here 
the Normans were again reinforced, but without 
avail; the Welsh defeated them with prodigious 
slaughter. The Welsh Chronicles state that many 
of the Norman barons were killed, and the soldiers 
tied to the castles which had been erected for their 

Such conflicts as the above were repeatedly taking 
place during the next couple of years in various 
parts of Wales, in which the Normans did not get 
the better of the argument. In 1096, William 
Rufus took the matter in hand, with the in- 
tention of assisting his discomfited barons. He 

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vowed that he would exterminate the whole male 
population; but it is recorded that in his progress 
through the country he was scarcely able to take or 
slay one of his Cymric enemies. William experi- 
enced a great loss of his own men, horses, and 
baggage, and had to beat a hasty and ignominious 
retreat, without accomplishing anything. His fol- 
lowers, shodless and bare, fell by the way, and, as 
recorded by Florence of Worcester: — 

" Mickle he lost in men and baggage, and eke in 
many other things." 

After his return from the Continent in the summer 
of 1097 A.D., he repeated the expedition ; but this ter- 
minated in a manner equally disastrous to his troops 
and to his dignity, although he remained in the 
Principality from midsummer to about the middle 
of August. " He, therefore," says the Anglo-Saxon 
Chronicle, " returned to England, and forthwith 
caused castles to be built in the Marches," i.e., tne 
border-land between the two countries. 

When Henry I. ascended the throne of England, 
he found Sir Eobert Fitzhamon a warm and steady 
supporter, who greatly aided him in his conflict with 
his elder brother, Robert, Duke of Normandy. 

After the latter had been made prisoner by Henry, 
he was committed to the custody of Sir Eobert, 
and kept in close confinement by the earl 
in his stronghold of Cardiff Castle. 

In 1106 A.D., Fitzhamon was appointed general of 
the King's army, and was immediately called upon 
to undertake a campaign in Normandy. At the 

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270 -; j e|.AMORaAH. 

siQge of Falaise in 1107 a.d., he received a spear- 
wound in his temple, which terminated fatally. His 
remains were brought home and buried in the Abbey 
of Tewkesbury. Fitzhamon died without male issue, 
and the lordship of Glamorgan devolved upon his 
eldest daughter, Mabel. The king married her to his 
natural son, Eobert Fitzroy, or Consul, whose 
mother was Nest, the daughter of Rhys ab Tewdwr. 
It is said that Mabel expressed some reluctance when 
this alliance was proposed to her, alleging that 
Robert had no baronial title, nor high military 
standing. The King removed these objections by 
creating his son Earl of Gloucester, and conferring 
upon him all the privileges and high offices which 
pertained to an earldom, second only to the kingship 

Robert, the monk of Gloucester (circa 1280), has 
succinctly represented this affair in the following 
shrewd dialogue: — 

Mabel: Sir, she said, ich wote your heart upon me is 
More for myne heritage, than for myselfe I wis, 
And such heritage as ich have, it were to mee grit shame 
To take a lorde but he hadde any surname. 

King Henry : Damoseill, thou seest well in thy» case. 

Sir Bobert Fitzhamon thy fader's name was; 

As fayre a name he shall have, as you may see, 

Sir Bobert le Fitz-Boy shall his name be. 

Tea, Damoseill, he sayd, thy lorde shall have a name 

For him, and for his heires, fayre without blame : 

For Bobert, Earl of Gloucestre, his name shall be, and 

Hee shall be Earl of Qlouce&tre, and his heires, I wis. 

Mabel : Inne this forme, ich wole that all my thyng be hys. 

*' Robert Consul," says Lord Lyttleton, " was 
unquestionably the wisest man of the time, 
and his virtues were such that even those 

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times could not corrupt them." He was a 
great patron of letters, and it was at his 
desire that William of Malmesbury continued 
his " Gesta Eegum Anglorum '' to the year 1142, 
under the title of '* Historia Novella." Geoffrey of 
Monmouth is said to have dedicated to him his " His- 
toria Brittonum," which has proved a vast store- 
house of romantic fiction. 

Caradog of Llancarvan, the monkish chroni- 
cler, lived at this time, and completed his 
valuable chronicles, the various Bbutiau, now 
embodied in the Myfyrian Archaiology. The 
ancient and fabulous traditions of a much earlier 
epoch were collected, and put together in the tales of 
the Mabinogion. Treatises still extant on music, 
grammar, and medicine are productions of this 
period. The last consists of the practical experi- 
ence of Ehiwallon of Myddfai, physician to prince 
Rhys ab Gruffydd, of Deheubarth, and of that phys- 
ician's three sons, Cadwgan, Gruffydd, and Einion, 
now so well known as Meddygon Myddfai. The 
Llyfr Du Caerfyrddin is a manuscript of this 
period, too. 

Though Robert was a Welshman from his 
mother's side, he endeavoured to enforce the 
feudal laws more closely than did his father- 
in-law, Fitzhamon, but he, likewise, found that 
the men of Morganwg still retained some notions of 
liberty, while acknowledging their fealty to their 
suzerain lord. 

He greatly strengthened the castle of Cardiff, and 
it is said that he surrounded it with a deep fosse, into 

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which he diverted the stream of the Tafif. He was 
the founder of Margam Abbey, and he it was who 
built Newport Castle, on the eastern confines of his 

During the latter years of his life Robert bore a 
conspicuous part in the civil war between his half- 
sister Matilda, and the usurper Stephen. He was 
taken prisoner at the battle of Winchester, but was 
liberated in exchange for King Stephen, who had 
previously been captured at Lincoln. He died in the 
year 1147 a.d., and the lordship of Glamorgan, with 
the earldom of Gloucester, fell to his son William. 

Of this William, Earl of Gloucester, it is recorded 
by Giraldus Oambrensis that he possessed by heredi- 
tary right, " besides the castle of Caerdyf, all the 
province of Gwladvorgan." It was of him that the 
clerical scribe wrote, that he was attacked and made 
prisoner by Ivor Bach of Senghenydd, described in 
this work under the topography of Cardiff, and who 
was not released except under solemn oath that he 
would not again attempt to infringe upon the rights 
of the Cymry. 

This Ivor Bach, or Ivor ab Cadifor, was the 
native chieftain of the hilly regions between the 
rivers Taff and Rhymni. The lolo MSS. record that 
he resided at Morlais Castle, near Merthyr Tydfil. It 
is probable that he erected the first Castell Coch, 
where he incarcerated the second earl of 
Gloucester. Here he maintained a garrison of 200 
men, upon the southern boundary of his territory of 
Senghenydd. It is said that his retinue numbered 
1,200 soldiers. 

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Although the Norman had succeeded in ob- 
taining a footing, and had occupied the richest lands 
of Morganwg, which in name he called a " Con- 
<juest," it took all his vigilance to maintain the same, 
^nd sometimes he had a very rough time of it. 

At a subsequent period, probably about 40 years 
later, Uiraldus offered some shrewd suggestions as to 
how the task could be accomplished, and how the 
people should be governed if once conquered. In his 
^* Topographia Cambriae," he writes: — 

" The prince who would wish to subdue this 
nation, and govern it in peace, must proceed 
thus: he must make up his mind to give un- 
deviating attention to this purpose for at least 
one year; for a people who, with a collected 
force, will neither attack in the field, nor 
wait to be besieged in castles, is not to be 
overcome at the first onset, but to be worn out 
by prudent delay and patience. 

This portion of the kingdom, protected by 
arms and courage, might be of great use to 
the prince, not only in these or the adjacent 
districts, but, if necessity required in more 
remote regions; and although the public 
treasury might receive a smaller annual 
revenue from these provinces, yet the defi- 
ciency would be fully compensated by the 
peace of the kingdom, and the honour of its 
sovereign, especially as the heavy and dan- 
gerous expenses of one military expedition 
into Wales usually amount to the whole 

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income arising from the revenue of the pro- 

Mr. G. T. Clark considers that the raid of Ivor 
upon Earl William " gave occasion, a century later, 
to the construction of the tower of Whitchurch and 
the castellets of Castell Coch and Morlais. The 
grand border fortress of Caerphilly was due to a 
more national attack, but all were built by the De 
Clares upon the private domain of Ivor's descen- 


Henry II., upon two occasions, passed through 
South Wales, in the year 1171 and the following year, 
on his way to and from Ireland, in which he heard 
Mass at St. Piran's Chapel in Cardiff. Giraldus 
records, that when he came out of church, he was 
addressed by a strange character in the following 
words : — -God keep thee, King ;* Christ and his holy 
Mother, John the Baptist, and Peter the Apostle 
greet thee, and by me, order thee to forbid all fairs 
and markets on the Lord's day, and all not necessary 
labours, and take thou heed that the sacred 
oflSces be devoutly administered; so shalt thou 
prosper." " Ask the master," said the Kingr 
turning to Philip Marcross *; whether he dreamt 
this." Upon which the man repeated hi& 
admonition, saying, "Unless thou dost obey 
me, and at once amend thy life, before a year 
shall pass away, harder things will happen to thee, 
which, so long as thou livest, thou shalt not shake 
off." Having said this the man disappeared, while 

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the King mounted his horse and rode away over 
the ford of the Rhymni into Gwent. 

Upon the death of William in 1173 a.d., the lord- 
ship of Glamorgan passed to Hawise, his third 
daughter, who was in ward to King Henry II. 
He gave her in marriage to his second son^ John, 
Earl of Montaigne, afterwards King of England. 
William, Earl of Gloucester, had constituted John 
heir to his titles and honours, in consequence of the 
death of his son Robert. 


year 1188 a.d., there occurred an event which 
occasioned great excitement throughout the 
country, i.e., the Preaching of the Second Crusade 
by Archbishop Baldwin of Canterbury. He was 
accompanied by Ranulph de Glanville, Chief Jus- 
ticiary of England, upon first entering Wales, 
who then transferred the political custody of 
the expedition to Prince Ehj^s ab GruflFydd, Lord 
Justiciary of Wales. In the Archbishop's company 
there were Peter, Bishop of St. David's, Alexander, 
Archdeacon of Bangor, the official interpreter, and 
Giraldus Cambrensis, who was commanded by King 
Henry to act as guide and master of the ceremonies 
to the mission. 

The crusading party passed through Gwent before 
entering Morganwg. At Usk they enlisted " many 
wild and lawless persons," and then passed on to 
Caerlleon. We are not told what success followed 
them at " ye ancient city." They then passed on to 
Newport, and there the party halted for the night. 
The following morning they harangued the multitude 

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which had assembled to greet them, at, in all proba- 
bility, the old Cross on Stow Hill, just outside the 
west gate of the town. They succeeded in inducing 
many persons to take the Cross. 

The party then passed on through WentUwch to 
Cardiff, and came to Llandaff, where the bishop of 
the diocese exercised due hospitality. Here, however, 
in describing the assembly which gathered round 
the preachers, Giraldus tells us that the English 
people stood on one side of the Cross, in the Cathe- 
dral close, and the Welsh on the other, indi- 
cating that the Welsh still clung to their distinctive 
nationality, and that the amalgamation of races had 
proceeded very slowly. 

The next morning the Archbishop celebrated Mass 
at the high altar of the cathedral, and proceeded to 
Ewenny, where the party became the guests of 
Abbot Conan. They then journeyed onward to the 
monasteiy of Margam. Morgan ab Caradog, the 
native sovereign of the district, guided the archi- 
episcopal company across the perilous quicksands of 
the River Nedd to Llansawel (Briton Ferry), and 
they spent the following night at Swansea Castle. 
Here they left the diocese of Llandaff, and entered 
that of St. David's. From Swansea the party went 
to Kidwelly, and thence to Caermarthen. 


(1199-1315, A.D.). 

When John ascended the throne in 1199 a.d., he 
relinquished the lordship of Glamorgan in favour of 
Almaric, the son of William's eldest daughter Mabel. 

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Almaric died when young, and without issue; con- 
sequently, the whole of his estates and honours 
passed to Eichard, Earl of Clare, who had married 
the second sister. Amice. Hence commences the con- 
nection of the powerful Clare family with the terri- 
tory of Morganwg and Gwent. 

In 1217 A.D., the estates passed to Eichard's son, 
Gilbert, who united in his person the earldoms of 
Hertford and Gloucester, together with the lordship 
of Glamorgan. He married Isabella, one of the 
daughters and co-heirs of William Marshall, Earl 
of Pembroke, and thus became lord of WentUwch 
and Caerlleon, upon the death of Marshall. 

The Welsh, during the rule of the De Clares, were 

as much in evidence as they had ever been during 

any previous period. The Margam Eecords state : — 

"In 1227 the Welsh burned the Margam 

grange of Pennuth, with many animals, and 

killed many men; also the grange of Eos- 

saulin, with many sheep, and drove away 

eleven cows, and killed a farm servant. Also 

they cleared the grange of Theodore of 

animals, and burned several horses and great 

flocks of sheep, the property of Margam." 

"On the 18th February, 1227, Kenfig was 
burned by lightning, and a horse killed." 

"Howel ap Meredith in 1229 burned St. 
Nicholas and St. Hilary. In that year Mor- 
gan Gam was set free, giving hostages for his 
conduct, which, however, did not prevent him 
from burning Neath in 1231. In this year 
the earl is said to have discovered mines of 

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lead, silver, and iron in Wales. The latter 
were well known to, and, to some extent, 
worked by the Romans ; the two former have 
never proved profitable." 

Gilbert Clare, the fifth earl of Gloucester, died in 
1230, and was succeeded by his son Richard, who 
at the time of his succession was a minor. He was 
placed under the guardianship of Hubert de Burgh, 
Lord Justiciary of England. Subsequently, in 123B, 
the guardianship was transferred to the Earl of 
Pembroke, who by the annual payment of 500 marks 
to the Crown, says Dugdale, " obtained the lordship 
of Glamorgan." In the year 1240 Richard de Clare, 
being then 18 years of age, was admitted to be of age 
for certain transactions, and it is recorded that he 
redeemed his estates in Glamorgan by repaying the 
BOO marks to his guardian, as the price of his ward- 

When in 1258 a.d., the committee of Government 
was appointed at Oxford, consisting of twenty, 
four members, twelve being; chosen by the 
King, and twelve by the barons, Richard, 
Earl of Gloucester, was one of the twelve 
chosen by the barons. He took a prominent 
part in the disputes between King Henry and the 
barons. He died in 1262, and was buried in Tewkes- 
bury Abbey. 

The following remarkable story is recorded con- 
cerning this earl : — 

" A Jew having accidentally fallen into a com- 
mon sewer on a Saturday, refused all help to 
extricate him, lest he should profane his 

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Sabbath. Richard de Clare, lord of the 
manor, was made acquainted with the cir- 
cumstance, and on hearing of the Jew's obsti- 
nacy, gave orders that no one should assist 
him on the Sunday, i.e., the Christian Sab- 
bath, that he might observe with similar 
strictness. Before Monday came, the Jew was 
dead, having fallen a victim to extreme Sab- 
batarianism, doubtless in connection with 
noxious gases. It is to be regretted that no 
one made a successful endeavour to persuade 
the Jew to consider himself for the time being 
an ox, or at least an ass, so that he might 
have been taken out of the pit without wound- 
ing his conscience." 

Richard was succeeded by his son Gilbert, com- 
monly called the Red, who assumed the titles and 
possessions as the seventh earl of Clare, and did 
homage in 1262 for his castles of " Cardiff, New- 
burgh (Newport), and Llantrissent, and of the Welsh 
lordship of which Hereford was to give seizin, which 
•cost the earl £1,000." Wykes records that the 
young earl was of an impetuous disposition, and 
took to be influenced very much by his mother. She 
persuaded him to join Simon de Montfort in oppos- 
ing the King. He was probably impelled to this by 
a personal grievance which he harboured against 
Prince Edward, for when he came to take the oath 
o'f allegiance to the King, Henry III., he refused to 
include in it, his allegiance to the King's eldest son. 
We, therefore, find him in a very short time taking up 
arms with Montfort against the Royal family : and 

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he and Montfort are looked upon as the chiefs of the 
party of the barons. 

Although the two leading barons joined hands 
in a common cause, it is said that each looked upon 
the other with a jealous eye. And whether it was- 
that Gilbert de Clare considered Simon de Montfort 
becoming too powerful, or assuming an undue 
amount of authority, it is a well-known fact that the 
earl changed sides in 1265, and took up the interests 
of the king. Through his scheming, Prince Edward^ 
when a prisoner in the custody of Montfort, at Here- 
ford, was enabled to escape. Montfort, seeing the 
turn of events, marched to Monmouth, destroyed the 
castle, and then proceeded to Newport. He was fol- 
lowed by Prince Edward, but Montfort retired into 
Glamorganshire, and there, in combination with 
Llewelyn ab Gruff ydd. Prince of Wales, laid waste 
the greater part of the territories of the Earl of 

At the battle of Lewes, Montfort was slain. The 
Earl of Gloucester was now left without any formid- 
able rival among the barons ; but he found an adver- 
sary worthy of his prestige in Prince Llewelyn ab 
Gruffydd, who took up the grievances of the Welsh 
in the lordship of the earl. 

In 1267 two Glamorgan barons, viz., Eoger 
de Somery and Hugh de Turberville, were 
commissioned by the King to enquire intg 
the causes of the quarrel between Llewelyn and Gil- 
bert, Earl of Gloucester. Llewelyn's complaint was 
that the earl had taken certain territories from his 
subjects, and had refused to restore them. These 

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w^ere the districts of Senghenydd, Glyn Ehondda, 
and Meisgyn. The earl, on the other hand, con- 
sidered that these hilly districts of the county, so 
near to his manor of Cardiff, were too strong and too 
important to be left in native hands. A compromise 
was agreed upon in 1268, but it was not of long con- 
tinuance, for the outcome of it was the erection of 
the great castle of Caerphilly by De Clare. 

Mr. G. T. Clark has given us the following lucid 
description of the state of the territory at this time : 

** The state of Glamorgan during the reign of 
Henry III. was such as to cause great anxiety 
to its lord, its ecclesiastical magnates, its 
barons and knights, and its inhabitants 
generally, whether English or Welsh. The 
land was wasted, the houses burned, the 
cattle driven off, the borough towns and reli- 
gious houses sorely bested. The clergy were 
in arrears with their tithes, the bishops and 
monastic bodies with their dues, and the land- 
lords of all ranks with their rents and the 
produce of their demesnes. Treaties and 
truces between the English and Welsh 
were of no avail. Each party broke 
them at pleasure. The King's writ did not run 
in the Marches, and would have been but little 
respected even if it had had legal sanction; 
and the chief lords, though strong enough to 
be a thorn in the King's side, were often un- 
able to preserve peace. 

It is true that the lower or seaboard divi- 
sion of the lordship, including the Vale of 

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Glamorgan, was studded with castles. Car- 
diff, Neath, and Swansea, and perhaps the 
Tower of Lwchwr, were strong enough to 
defend the lower parts of the Taff, the Nedd, 
the Tawe, and the Lwchwr rivers, but the 
other castles and strong houses, Kenfig, Llan- 
trissant, Ogmore, Coyty, Dunraven, Talavan, 
Llanblethian, Bonvilleston, Fonmon, Pen- 
mark, Sully, Barry, Wenvoe, Flimston, and 
Dinas Powis, and a score of others, were in- 
tended to guard private domains, and did not 
command the main passes of the district. 
Cardiff and Neath were regularly walled, and 
Kenfig fenced in, probably with a palisade. 
Cowbridge was also walled. The south gate 
and wall still remain, and a charter of the 
3rd Henry VII. refers to a turret or tower and 
to the north wall, as then standing. These 
defences, however, were for the security of the 
iown only. What was wanted was some cen- 
tral stronghold of the first class, large enough 
to contain a numerous garrison, strong 
enough to resist a siege, and so placed as to 
stand in the way of any advance of the Welsh 
in force into England, and, should they so 
advance, to cut off their retreat. 

Earl Gilbert determined to supply this 
want in a manner worthy of his rank and 
wealth as chief of the Marcher Lords, and 
suitable to the importance of the territory 
which it was his duty to protect. The place 
fixed upon for his fortress was the centre of 
a vast and, in part, marshy basin upon the 

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Welsh bank of the Rhymiii, and therefore 
between the lordships of Gwen't and Mor- 
ganwg, within the hill district, and not above 
six miles from Cardiff. This lay in the route 
by which the Welsh invaders usually 
advanced upon, and retired from Gwent, and 
to close it would close the whole line of the 
Rhymni, from the Brecon mountains to the 
sea, Cardiff blocking the sea-ward plain, and 
Brecknock and Builth, the valley of the Usk, 
north of the mountains. 

The proposed castle was wholly new. A 
knoll of ground rising out of the morass was 
scarped and revetted and crowned with a 
double belt of walls and towers, while, as at 
Kenilworth and Leeds, an insignificant 
nrook was barred by a strong and well- 
defended dam, and the depression about the 
castle converted into a deep and broad lake. 
Such was the origin, and such the general 
disposition of the Castle of Caerphilly, the 
most complete example in Britain of the con- 
centric style of fortress, and in area and 
accommodation second only to Windsor. Un- 
fortunately for its historic celebrity, the pre- 
cautions which led to its construction were, 
within a very few years, rendered useless by 
the complete conquest of the Principalitv, 
though in that respect it only shared the fate 
of Conway, Caernarvon, Beaumaris, Harlech, 
and Bere. 

Earl Gilbert certainly did not take up the 

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defence of his territory by halves. Besides 
Caerphilly, the small but strong fortress of 
•Castell Coch was constructed to guard the 
lowest pass of the Taff: and upon the high 
ground near one head of the same river, near 
the old Eoman way from Newport to Brecon, 
was constructed, a few years later, Morlais, a 
castle small in area but strong, and guarded 
by a ditch quarried with immense labour out 
of the limestone rock. The chain was com- 
pleted by the construction of a circular tower, 
now destroyed, at Whitchurch, in the plain 
between Castell Coch and Cardiff." 

After the subjugation of Wales by Edward I. in 
1282, the Earl of Gloucester appears to have lost his 
great influence and power. Of his quarrel with 
Humphry de Bohun, Lord of Brecknock, which led 
to serious consequences for both, reference has been 
made under Morlais Castle in the topography of 
Merthyr Tydfil. Gilbert de Clare died at Monmouth 
Castle in 1295 a.d., and was buried at Tewkesbury 

The lordship of Glamorgan then passed to his 
widow, Joan, daughter of King Edward I., in con- 
sequence of the minority of their son. Joan, how- 
ever, married secretly in the following year Ralph 
de Monthermer, a simple esquire. This brought 
upon her the displeasure of the king, her father ; but 
after a time Monthermer was allowed to administer 
the lordship of Glamorgan during the minority of 
his step-son, the young Earl of Clare. 

Gilbert de Claee, the 8th Eael of Gloucesteb, 

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Avas only four years old upon the death of his father 
in 1295. He proved himself a loyal supporter of his 
cousin King Edward II., and appeared with him at 
the Battle of Bannockburn, where his " undis- 
ciplined valour led him to ride hard in advance of 
his men to draw the first blood," with the result that 
he was one of the first to be slain. It is recorded that 
he owed his death to having gone into the fray with- 
out wearing his surcoat of armorial bearings. The 
Scots were, therefore, ignorant of his name and rank, 
otherwise, the immense ransom that would have been 
paid for him would have saved his life. His body 
was given up without ransom, and sent to the King 
at Berwick; it was buried with his ancestors at 
Tewkesbury Abbey. He was but 23 years of age at 
his death. With him ended the main line of the great 
House of Clare, Earls of Gloucester, and Lords of 

The family honours of the House of Clare devolved 
upon the sisters of the deceased earl. Eleanor, the 
eldest, who in her own right became possessed of the 
earldom of Gloucester, married Hugh le Despenser, 
the younger. Hugh le Despenser, by the 10th Edward 
II., then did homage to the King for all he had 
inherited in virtue of his marriage with Eleanor. 

the Despenser took possession of the Welsh estates in 
1315 A.D., he immediately dismissed all the native 
officers, who had formerly been employed by the 
Clares to manage them. Among the most 
important of these officers was Llewelyn, sur- 
named Bren, who was the seneschal of Caerphilly 

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Castle under Ralph Monthermer and Gilbert de 
Clare. He was also lord of Upper Senghenydd. being 
a direct lineal descendant of Ivor Bach, of Castell 
Coch fame. Despenser, in addition to depriving him 
of his office, claimed the territory of the Welsh 

Finding it useless to dissuade Despenser from 
depriving him of the heritage of his fathers, 
Llewelyn proceeded to London, and there made 
an appeal to King Edward 11. in person, on 
behalf of himself and his fellow countrymen, but 
without avail; nor was the least effort made to con- 
ciliate the Welsh people. He, therefore, returned 
home, vowing vengeance upon the estates of 
Despenser. He was soon joined by his friends and 
retainers, and they decided upon a resort to arms. 
They first captured Caerphilly Castle, with Des- 
penser's recently-appointed constable within it. 
Llewelyn's force became greatly augmented by num- 
bers of disaffected Cymry. Men joined him from all 
parts of Glamorganshire, until he had 10,000 men 
under his command. Having placed their families, 
flocks, and herds, in safe and inaccessible parts of 
the mountains, they led a sort of brigand life, and 
devastated the English colonies of Morganwg. 

John Giffard, Lord of Bronllys, who had been 
appointed Custos of the lands of Gilbert, late Earl of 
Clare, in Glamorgan, w^as deputed to put down the 
rebellion. Several of the other Lords Marchers 
led military levies against the revolters. Llewelyn 
Bren, now seeing that he must eventually be 
worsted, offered to surrender upon terms calculated 

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to benefit himself and those of his followers. But the 
King absolutely refused to come to terms, and 
insisted upon unconditional surrender. It is thought 
that Llewelyn probably received some private inti- 
mation of merciful treatment, for he soon gave him- 
self up, together with eighteen of his leading fol- 
lowers, among whom were his two sons, Gruff ydd 
and levan. 

Llewelyn and his two sons were committed to the 
Tower of London, and the King commanded his 
treasurer to pay three-pence a day for their support 
while in custody. They were liberated in June 1317 
A.D., and again instated in their lands. 

This rebellion proved, after all, to be a little 
blessing in disguise. The Welsh people of Mor- 
ganwg received an immediate alleviation of some of 
the feudal usages to which they were subject. 
Amongst others were the following: — 

The fines exacted by the Lord of the Manor 
from his tenants upon the marriage of their 
daughters, and known as Gwobr Merch, were 
considerably moderated. 

Freeholders having more than one son were 
allowed to enter one for holy orders without the 
customary king's license. 

Freeholders were permitted to dispose of their 
lands for three years to any of their countrymen 
of equal rank to themselves, except to monks 
and religious bodies. 

Llewelyn Bren shortly after his arrival home was 
wrongfully seized upon by Sir William Fleminge^ 

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Bart., Lord of Wenvoe, then Sheriff of Glamorgan, 
at the instigation, undoubtedly, of the Despensers, 
who, with unbridled license, assumed regal preroga- 
tive. Llewelyn was condemned without trial, and 
hanged in Cardiff Castle. For this injustice Flem- 
inge himself was hanged on a gibbet within the 
precincts of the same castle. 


The Social Life in Glamorgan in the time of 
Llewelyn Bren may be guaged from the " Ministers* 
Accounts " of the Cardiff Eecords, published by the 
Corporation. These accounts throw considerable 
light upon the elaborate system of customs and ser- 
vice in these early days. These Ministers' Accounts 
are financial statements sent up to the Crown from 
the persons appointed to manage estates which had 
come into the King's hands on the death of the lord 
without heir male, or under other circumstances. 

We learn that skilled labour at this early period 
commanded a higher wage than unskilled, as it does 
to-day. The skilled labourer was paid threepence a 
day, whilst the unskilled, or ordinary labourer, was 
deemed worthy of one penny. A carpenter com- 
manded 3d. a day, as also did a mason. The 
gatekeeper at Cardiff Castle was paid 3d. a day, 
while two watchmen were each paid 2d. per day. A 
tiler, who was employed roofing a part of the castle, 
received BJd. a day, whilst his servant received Id. 
as his daily wage. A plumber and his man were 
paid 5d. per day. 

Agricultural labour was paid ridiculously low; 

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one carter, three carter's inien, one shepherd, and one 
reaper were each paid 4s.6d. for the whole year's ser- 
vice ; this, of course, was plus board and lodgines. A 
ploughman received lOd. for ten weeks work; he 
was evidently passing rich on a penny a week. In 
harvest time the mowers were paid by piece work, 
and received 6d. per acre; for raking and cocking 
the hay Id. per acre was paid. If it were a wet 
season, as was the case in 1316, the labourers 
received 3d. per acre for strewing, raking, and cock- 
ing the hay. . j . 

The prices of animals, food, utensils, and materials 
are of intense interest at tnis particular time. A 
bull calf realised 12d., . a ewe cost 16d., two hogs 
were sold for 5s. each, whilst a sucking pig com- 
manded 4d. A bull or a. milch cow cost 10s. ; a heifer 
7s., and calves 3s. each. Wheat was 9s. per quarter, 
beans 6s. 8d. per quarter, barley 6s. '8d., and oats 
3s. Fourteen pounds of cheese from the Roath Dairy 
sold for Jd. per pound; whilst butter realised the 
same price ; but salt appears to be very dear, and cost 
lOd. per pound. A cart cost 10s., whilst a waggon 
realised Is. more; a plough with six pairs of irons 
cost Is. 6d., and a harrow was sold at the same 
price. Iron forks cost 8d., and hempen cords 4d. 
each ; 1,000 nails for repairing castle 20d. Wine per 
hogshead cost 53s. 4d. In another entry we find two 
hogsheads of wine delivered to Syr Payne Turber- 
yille, and sampled as old and weak, 26s. 8d. The 
rent of herbage of ten acres was 2s. 6d. 
whilst the rent of a cottage ai Eadyr for fourteen 
, weeks was 6d. The shoeing of two cart-hof ses con- 
j voying hay for fourteen weeks w-as 12d^ 

2 u 

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21)0 ' GLAMORGAN^ 

The Feudal Customs are forcibl}^ brought 
to mind by the items for "works" which 
are accounted for. In the Manor of Roath 
Accounts in the year 1316, there is recorded 
10s. paid for the vahie of 49 " works " at 
ploughing ; for seed in winter and Lent 2Jd. for each 
work; the sanie number of w^ork.«; at harrowing is 
paid for by the sum of 8s.: and r2s. of works at 
threshing, hoeing, and carrying* Six works at mow- 
ing sold for 2s., '* and not more because eighteen 
acres of meadow were mown by customary holders*" 
Then is recorded 20s. for autumn works, 72 at 2d. 
and 96 at Id. Evidently the lot of a customary 
holder was not a happy one, for all the year round 
he was being called upon to work for liis lord, or to 
pay the price of exemptions. 

When Christmas came the hol^der ii> fee 
was expected to carry one bunflle M fire- 
wood to the Gastle- at Cardiff. The ciistomary 
holders were also, compelled to grind their corn in 
the lord's mills at their own expense, and to use the 
lord's fulling mills for dyeing their cloth. These 
mills proved a bountiful source of revenue. The two 
mills at Cardiff were farmed by the lord for an 
annual rent of £40, the mill at Pentyrch for £2, and 
the two mills at Rumney for £20. The Lord of the 
Manor benefited also from.the fisheries at Cardiff to 
the extent of £16 annually : the tolls of the 'market 
and fairs, and on timJjeJ^realised £6 ; and the duties 
on ale brewed brought £28 annually. 

The rebellion of Llewelyn Bren brought ruin in 
its train throughout the lordship. The accounts as 

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presented display a sorry picture in the houses un- 
tenanted, the cattle and provender carried off by the 
Welsh, lands uncultivated, and subsequently the 
expenses incurred in repairing the Castle of Cardiff 
and other buildings. Thus it is recorded, under the 
year 1315, that the rents of no fewer than 47 burg- 
ages in Llantrisant and Misjvin were,** relinquished 
because of the war with the Welsh," while 14s. 3d. 
of the profits of ale was only accounted for, " And 
not more because only a few persons brewed, for that 
they were destroyed by the Welsh in the war." The 
same account tells the tale of the loss of rents of 47 
burgages and a half " because they had become 
wast " by reason of the war. The fisheries brought 
in nothing. 

In the same year the widow of Sir Payn Turber- 
ville renders her account for the period between 9th 
October, 1315, and the 20th April, 1316, for hauling 
timber and the fisheries. Among her expenses she 
has tliis weird claim of 2s. Id., spent " in hanging 
five thieves, together with the cord bought for the 
ftame." Fourpence for the hanging and a penny for 
the cord was the regulation sum paid for executions. 
The widow Turberville appears to have been 
merciful,, or tljere was an increa8aA:of crime in the 
term of her successor, i.e., from 21st April to Septem- 
ber, for in this period fifteen thieves and felons were 

The Welshmen who took part in the rebellion 
were mulcted in heavy fines, as appo^-rs in the 
accounts for the year 1331 a.d. The amounts re- 
ceived from the different tribelands total £2,331 

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292 • ' QLAMORQAN. 

17s.»10d. from eleven groups. The heaviest amount 
was paid by the Welsh of Miskin. being £381 2s. 4d., 
and the next heaviest from Gien Eothenv 
(Rhondda), £302 lis. 4d.; Glenn Ogor were fined 
£116 4s. Od. These payments secured them '* acquit- 
tances " for their rebellion, which were signed by 
Robert de Prestebury, the lieutenant of Sir John 
Gifford de Brimmesfield, custodian of Glamorgan. 


(1315 to circa 1380 a.d.). 

Hugh le Despenser, the younger, was a con- 
summate artist, for we soon find that by means of 
graces of person and accomplishments, he succeeded 
in ingratiating himself into the favour of King 
Edward II. When in this position, he, like many 
others, abused the confidence of his master, and -con- 
sequently stirred up a party against him, which soon 
proved too strong for him. 

His rapacity knew no bounds, and his influence 
with the King enabled him to obtain possession of 
estates which rightly belonged to the sisters of his 
wife, who were her co-heirs. Ralph de Monthermer, 
Avho had married Joan, the mother of the eighth 
Gilbert de Clare, claimed Caerphilly in virtue 
of a deed of assignment made by the first husband of 
Joan, but Despenser kept him out of it, and estab- 
lished his own person in the castle. Mar- 
garet, the wife of Hugh de Audley, obtained Newport 
and its castle, but she was compelled to cede them to 
the favourite. He, in like manner, obtained 
other castles and manors in Gwent .which 

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did riot rightly belong to him. These were 
Usk, Tregrug (Llangibby), Caerlleon, and 
Lyswyry (Liswerry). In the west he ob- 
tained the rich manors of Swansea, Pennard, Oyster- 
mouth, and Lough'or, which were bequeathed to John 
de Mowbray ; these he claimed on the plea that they 
had reverted to the Crown through Mowbray's 
neglect of feudal usage. The King, too, conferred 
upon him the earldom of Gloucester and the lordship 
of Glamorgan. 

But this influence of his with the King was, how- 
ever, attended with some advantage to the people of 
the towns in the various lordships possessed by him. 
They received freedom from tolls in various com- 
modities other than wool, hides, fleeces or sheep- 
skins, and wines. The Charter granted by the King 
reads as follows: — 

** Edward, by the Grace of God, King of Eng- 
land, Sovereign of Ireland, and Duke of 
Aquitaine, to the archbishops, bishops, 
abbots, priors, earls, barons, sheriffs, judges, 
superintending officers, and to all bailiffs and 
tneir officers, health ; know ye that we of our 
special favour have granted and by this our 
chart have confirmed to our faithful and 
beloved Hugh le Despenser, the younger, that 
he, and his heirs, and their burgesses, and 
others, the inhabitants of Cardyf, Usk, Caer- 
lleon, Newport, Cowbrugge, Neeth, and Ken- 
fig in Wales, of all their effects, goods, wares, 
as well merchandise as others, be for ever 
released from toll, wall toll, bridge toll, ware 

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carriage toll, stall or standing toll, piccage, 
tronage, wool-weighing toll, kayage, wharf 
toll, tonage, lord's land tillage, and also of 
all other customs and duties throughout our 
whole kingdom and our Duchy of Aquitaine, 
and our Sovereignty of Ireland, and else- 
where throughout our dominions, the duties 
upon wool, hides, fleeces or sheep skins, and 
wines, due to us, and our heirs, successors, 
only excepted, etc." 

This freedom from tolls was no empty benefit, be- 
cause merchandise, when brought to markets and 
fairs, and conveyed through the domains of the 
barons, was liable to be taxed many times over. 

The Lords ]\[archers were roused to a state of the 
greatest resentment on account of Despenser's rapa- 
cious disposition, which evidently threatened to dis- 
possess them of their estates and lordships. Conse- 
quently, we find the following barons taking com- 
mon action : De Bohun, ^Mortimer, Audley, Damory, 
Mowbray, Berkley, Seys, Giffard, and Talbot. They 
demanded the King to banish him from the realm, 
or that he be imprisoned and brought to trial. Find- 
ing, however, that their menaces were of no avail, 
they committed terrible devastation of Despenser's 
Glamorgan property ; they killed and imprisoned his 
servants; they burnt, defaced, and destroyed his 
castles, and carried off the effects of value found 
therein. They made such havoc that Dugdale records 
that £60,000 would have been insufficient to repair 
the damages. 

The Queen and young Prince Edward had been 

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compelled to flee the country through the scheming 
and mischief-making of the Despensers, and had 
sought shelter in Flanders. Upon receiving news 
that there was an urBus>ral--atn*ount of disaffection 
a^mong the barons on account of the evil doings of 
the father and son, they returned, and marched to 
Bristol at the head of a strong force. The King and 
the two Despensers were then in the city. The people 
received the Queen with every sign of affection, and 
delivered up to her the elder Despenser. She lost no 
time in avenging upon him the insults which she 
had received, for he was immediately hanged from 
the city walls, in sight of the King and the j^'ounger 

His Majesty and his favourite sought safety in 
ilight. They first made for Gloucester, with the 
•Queen in pursuit, and proceeded in the direction of 
'Wales, with the intention of embarking for Ireland. 
On the 14th and 15th October, 1326, the King and 
Despenser were at Tintern, and remained there and 
in the vicinity of Chepstow for a week. They decided 
to seek shelter in Lundy, which was then in the pos- 
session of Despenser. Stow's Annals records that the 
^* King, Hugh le Despenser, the younger, and Eobert 
Baljdock,,the King's Chancellor, determined to flee to 
the island of Lundy, in the mouth of the river 
Severn," and are said to have taken to sea in a small 
vessel from Chepstow, but a contrary wind pre- 
vented them from proceeding down Channel. On the 
27tn ana 28t'5t October the King was at Cardiff. 
Frpn^ there he proceeded to Despenser's Castle of 

The Queen, having heard of their arrival at the 

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latter place, mustered a strong force, and took up an 
advantageous position before it, without delay. His 
Majesty, though he had an almost equally strong 
defending force, lost heart and feared for his safety 
in the strong fortress. He, therefore, managed to 
make his escape in company of Despenser, and 
proceeded westward on the 31st of October. Then 
we learn of him at Margam on the 4th of November,, 
but how he got there is not precisely known. One 
tradition states that he disguised himself as a Welsh 
peasant. Malkin has perpetuated the legend that 
the King hired himself as a cowherd or shepherd to 
a farmer in the parish of Llangynwyd; but tJie 
farmer, finding him an " awkward and ignorant 
fellow," soon dismissed him. 

From Margam the King sought the sanctuary of 
Neath Abbey. That he was there on the 5th of 
November, 1326. is a well-known and authentic fact. 
Here, rumour proclaims that he was betrayed to the 
knowledge of the Queen by a monk of the Abbey- 
On the 16th of November he was captured, with 
Despenser, near the castle of Llantrisant, in attempt- 
ing to make his way back to Caerphilly. Henry, 
Earl of Lancaster, was the nobleman who effected his 
capture. He was then conveyed to Monmouth 
Castle, to await further orders. The Queen sum- 
moned a Parliament to meet at Hereford, and the 
King and Despenser were removed thither. It was 
decided by the Council that the first step was to 
require the King to give up the great seal, which he 
did without demur. Short work was made of 
Despenser, for he was there hanged on a gibbet fifty 
feet high. The ultimate fate of the King and his 

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death at Berkeley Castle are matters of general 

After the death of the King, Queen Isabella, who 
was now the moving spirit in the kingdom, assumed 
the control of affairs during the minority of her son. 
Prince Edward, afterwards Edward III. She 
gave the estates of Hugh le Despenser to 
her favourite, Roger Mortimer, who assumed 
the lordship of Glamorgan, and through her 
influence he was created Earl of the Marches 
of Wales by the young King in 1328. From 
this designation he came to be generally known as 
the Earl of March. He was, however, hung as a 
traitor in 1330, and the estates became Crown pro- 

The son of Hugh le Despenser, after some years ha/1 
elapsed, was received with favour by the young- 
king, Edward III., and succeeded by good service to 
win back a considerable portion of his father's pos- 
sessions, which had become escheated to the Crown. 

Edward le Despenser, his grandson, passed the 
greater part of his active life in the French wars of 
the King, and his son, the Black Prince. He died at 
Cardiff Castle in the year 1365, leaving a son^ 
Thomas Despenser, then a minor. When he attained 
his majority, he was created Lord of Glamorgan,, 
thus reviving a defunct title, and, becoming a 
favourite at Court, he was created Earl of 
Gloucester. In order to possess himself of the for- 
feited portions of the estates of his great grandfather,. 
Hugh le Despenser, the younger, he presented a peti- 
tion to Parliament, by which he succeeded in revok- 
ing the judgment of the exile. 

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Dugdale has given us the following interesting 
record of the immense wealth of that great baron : — 
" That petition exhibits a singular view of the 
immense possessions and opulence of that 
haughty and avaricious baron (Hugh le Des- 
penser, the younger). He is said to have 
owned at the time of his banishment in 1320, 
no less than fifty-nine lordships in sundry 
counties, twenty-eight thousand sheep, one 
thousand oxen and steers, one thousand and 
two hundred kine, with their calves, forty 
mares with their colts of two years, one hun- 
dred and sixty draught horses, two thousand 
hogs, three thousand bullocks, forty tons of 
wine, six hundred bacons, four score car- 
casses of Martinmass beef, six hundred 
muttons in his larder, ten tuns of cider; 
armour, plate, jewels, and ready money better 
than ten thousand pounds, thirty-six sacks of 
wool, and a library of books."* 


(1400-15, A.D.). 

Wales, in general, was in a deplorable condition 
at the end of the 14th century, and was evidently 
going from bad to worse. In the reign of Richard 
II. the Lords Marchers seemed to have won Dack the 
paramount authority, which they had in part been 
deprived of since the conquest of Wales. Safely 
guarded by their castles and hosts of armed 
retainers, they dealt with the Cymry in a domineer- 

• Dugdale's Baron, vqI. I., p. 396. 

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ing and unscrupulous spirit. The sufferings of 
the people were pitiful, and it is not surprising that 
they were goaded to desperation, and were ready and 
«ager to take up arms to free the country from a 
thraldom which had become intolerable. 

Henry of Lancaster had succeeded in deposing 
Hichard II., and had been proclaimed king under 
the title of Henry IV. He created his son, Harry of 
Monmouth, Prince of Wales, but as Greton, the 
French chronicler, who fought as a knight in the 
service of King Richard in Ireland, and remained 
for some time after his deposition at the English 
Court, states: — 

" The King conferred on him the whole of the 
land of Wales ; but I think he must conquer 
it, if he will have it, for, in my opinion, the 
Welsh will on no account allow him to be 
their lord, for the sorrow, evil, and disgrace, 
which the English, together with his father, 
had brought upon King Richard." 

This proved only too true. The excessively 
harsh and cruel ordinances enacted by the Parlia- 
ment of Henry IV. in 1401 against the Welsh, insti- 
gated the people to rebellion. 

No Welshman was permitted to purchase any land 
in England. He was not allowed to hold any cor- 
porate office, nor to bear arms within any city, 
borough, or market town. 

No Englishman was to be convicted at the suit of 
any Welshman. 

A Welshman marrying an Englishwoman was 
subjected to severe penalties; and all Englishmen 

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300 ? ^ QLAMORQAN* 

:narrying Welshwomen were disfranchised in the 

No provisions or arms were to be received into 
Wales without special permission from the King or 
his Council. 

No Welshman was allowed to have the charge of 
any castle, fortress, or place of defence, even though 
he might be the owner of it, nor to fulfil the offices of 
lieutenant, justice, chancellor, treasurer, chamber- 
lain, sheriff, steward, coroner, or any office of trust, 
notwithstanding any patent or license to the con- 

No Welsh child was to be brought up as a scholar, 
nor permitted to be apprenticed to any trade in any 
town in the kingdom. 

The good old custom of Cymmortha, i.e.. meeting 
together to assist each other in harvest or agricul- 
tural work was strictly forbidden; and the 
assembling of bards and minstrels was declared 

The withdrawal of Welsh students from the Eng- 
lish Universities and public schools, and their return 
to their homes, with the large number of Welsh 
craftsmen and military retainers, thrown adrift on 
the hills and in the dales of Wales, was the imme- 
diate result of this pernicious legislation. The 
aggrieved and disaffected Cymry, augmented by the 
numbers of their countrymen set free and deprived 
of their livelihood in various pursuits in England, 
once more roused the old national zeal for personal 
liberty and independence. 

It is, therefore, not surprising that the Welsh were 

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goaded to desperation, and when a leader made his 
appearance, he • was hailed as the saviour of his 
country. This leader was no less a personage than 
the marvellous, scholarly, and versatile Owain Glyn- 
dwr, a descendant of a noble line of ancient British 
kings. He had served under Richard II. as a 
courtier, and hated the House of Lancaster with a 
bitter hatred. 

Glyndwr, in 1400 a.d., was called upon to resent 
some wrong which had been perpetrated upon him, 
by his old enemy, Lord Grey of Ruthin. This simple 
and local affair immediately assumed national im- 
portance, for -the people of Wales made the cause of 
Owain of Glyndyfrdwy their own. 

Glyndwr did not take long to establish his 
reputation as a gallant and skilful leader; courage 
and coolness, perseverance and sagacity were his 
distinguishing characteristics. He was the very type 
of man to arouse the Cymric enthusiasm, and to stir 
their patriotism for their ancient liberty. His stand- 
ard, the ancient red dragon of Wales upon a white 
ground, waving in the fore-front of the Cymric 
hosts, was to them the embodiment of the fulfilment 
of the ancient prophecies of their barfls and seers, 
that a Welsh prince would again wear the crown, 
and wave the sceptre of Britain. 

" Cambria's princely eagle, hail. 
Of Qruffydd Vychan's noble blood; ' 
Thy high renown shall never fail, 
O-wain Q-lyndwr great and good,' 
-Lord of Dwrdwy's fertile vale, 
Warlike higii-born Owain, hail ! " 

Having ravaged and devastated the estates of his 
old enemy. Grey of Ruthin, Glyndwr called 

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302 QLAMaRQAN. . < , 

upon to face the opposition of King Henry IV, In 
1401 A.D., a large army was led into Wales by way 
of Shrewsbury, under the King's personal command^ 
there to ni«et with the utmast ddscomikurefroin the 
fllements, whilst Glyndwr and his followers were 
snugly and safely ensconced in the fastnesses of 
their native mountains. 

Around the name of the hero there com- 
menced to gather the glamour of that mar- 
vellous superstition and of portents which were 
so readily believed in by an imaginative people like 
the Welsh. Mr. Bradley has tritely described the 
spell which Glyndwr's magnetic influence had upon 
the Welsh:— ' 

" He knew his countrymen, ana he knew the 
world, and when Wales was quivering with 
excitement beneath the interpretation of 
ancient prophecies bruited hither and thither 
and enlarged upon by poetic and patriotic 
fancy, Glyndwr was not the man to damp 
their ardour by any display of criticism. 
*' Already the great news from Wales had 
thrilled the heart of many Welshmen poring 
over books at the university, or following 
the plough tail over English fallows. They 
heard of friends and relatives selling their 
stock to buy arms and harness, and in num- 
bers that yet more increased as the year ad- 
vanced, began to steal home again, all filled 
with a rekindled glow of patriotism, that a 
hundred yetiTs of imion, and in theirr cases, 
long mingling with the Saxon, had not 
quenched. Oxford, particularly, sent many 

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recruits to Owen, and this is. not surprising^ 
seeing how combative was the Oxford student 
of that tixne, and how clannish his. proclivi* 

Gtyndwr raised his banner of Cadwaladr on the- 
heights of Plynlimmon, and then fell with a heavy 
hand upon South Wales. With a following of only 
600 men he harassed the Flemish settlements of the- 
marches of Cardigan and Caermarthen, and unsettled 
the Anglo-Norman colonies of Pembrokeshire.. Upon 
his return from the last county laden with spoils and 
treasure, he was suddenly surrounded by a Flemish 
host of 1,500 men, who attacked him at Mynydd 
Hyddgant, one of the spurs of Plynlimmon. He 
extricated himself from this apparent ambush by 
an irresistible onslaught upon the Flemings, in 
which 200 of them were left dead on the field- 
He and his small band of gallants then wended their 
homeward track to Glyndyfrdwy. This victory was 
the mfeans of 'a:dding thousands of ardent Welshmen 
to his standard, and to decide every halting Cymro- 
in his favour. 

With merciless vigour Glyndwr next devastated 
nearly the whole of South Wales, destroying castles, 
monasteries, churches, and towns. All religious 
establishments were destroyed except the houses of 
the Franciscans, which was the only religious order 
which was partial to the national aspirations of the 
Welsh. The noble Abbey of Cv/mhir had to feel his 
pitiless harid; it was utterly demolished. 

Henry IV again came into Wales in pursuit of 
the intrepid chieftain, and proclaimed him a rebel. 
In an incredibly short space of time the King was. 

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in Cardiganshire, and called a halt at Ystrad Ffliir, 
where he destroyed the Cistercian Abbey of the place 
•on the plea that a few of the monks were in sympathy 
with Glyndwr. The King is reported to have taken 
away the sacred vessels of the sanctuary, and to 
have desecrated the structure by making use of the 
chancel as a stable for his. horses. Finding, how- 
ever, that his troops were exhausted by famine and 
fatigue, he was under. the necessity, to make an 
ignominious retreat, bafiSed and worsted by the 
weather, and harassed by the vigilance of the ever- 
watchful Glyndwr. 

In 1402 A.D., Glyndwr fell upon the district of 
the marches which bordered on Hereford. This was 
a district under the administration of Sir Edmund 
Mortimer, the uncle of the young Earl of March, 
then a child, who was the rightful heir to the throne 
of England, but who was held as a prisoner by 
Henry IV. Owain was confronted by a large Eng- 
lish force under the command of Sir Edmund Morti- 
mer, and other Lords Marchers, at a place called 
Pilleth, in Radnorshire. Here a sanguinary conflict 
took place, in which the English forces were utterly 
routed, leaving eleven hundred men slain on the 
field, among whom were a great number of knights 
and gentlemen. Mortimer himself was made pri- 
soner, and conveyed to Harlech Casjle, where he was 
kept under lock and key for several years. This 
victory at Pilleth caused great rejoicing and 
enthusiasm among the Welsh, and added immense 
numbers to his standard. 

In the flush of victory Glyndwr and his hosts 
marched Southwards, plundering, burning, and 

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ravaging the Norman castles which he had not 
destroyed previously. He entered Monmouthshire, 
and demolished the- castles of Abergavenny, Usk, 
Newport, and Went-llwg (Castleton), and then pro- 
ceeding to Cardiff, he burnt the castle and town, all 
but " Cokkerton Street," in which was situated an 
establishment of the Franciscans, the House of Grey 
Friars. He afterwards sacked and burnt the Bis- 
hop's palace and Archdeacon's house at Llandaff, 
and did much other damage in the county. 

King Henry IV once again organized and planned 
an expedition of some hundred thousand men. with 
the fixed determination to end for ever the national 
aspirations of the Cymry, and to put an end to the 
necromantic feats, as they were called, of Owain 
Glyndwr, with his capacity, as depicted by Shak- 
spere of " calling spirits from the vasty deep." Mr. 
Bradley has lucidly described this occasion in the 
career of the mighty chieftain as follows: — - 

'' If the English had hitherto only half believed 
that Owain was a wizard they were in less 
than a week convinced that he was the very 
devil himself, against whom twice their hun- 
dred thousand men would be of slight avail. 
Never within man's memory had there been 
such a September in the Welsh mountains. 
The very heavens themselves seemed to 
descend in sheets of water upon the heads of 
these magnificent and well-equipped arrays." 
In less than a fortnight. Pennant says, there was 
not an Englishman in Wales outside the castles. 
The King was compelled to return to Berkhampstead 

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to brood over the miserable failure of his third ex- 
pedition against the irrepressible Welshman. 

'* Three tunes hath Henry Bolingbroke m«de head 
Agauut my power. Thrioe from the banks of Wye 
And eandy-bottcmed Severn have I sent 
Him bootless home, aad weather-beaten back." 

Glyndwr was again in South Wales in the year 
1403, but this time in the west, ravaging the settle- 
ments of the Flemish, and creating consternation in 
Pembroke and Oaermarthen, while everyone seemed 
as though paralysed by his ubiquitous movements, 
**now repelling the Flemings in the West, now 
ravaging the English border on the East." There 
was no one, from the monarch on his throne, to the 
baron in his castle, who could lift a hand to stem the 
tide of Glyndwr's success. 

It was about this time that the rumour 
got abroad that he intended carrying his ravages 
into the heart of England. There appears 
to have been perturbed expectanon and dis- 
may in various places, even as far into the heart of 
England as Northampton, thatlhe hosts of Glyndwr 
were already on the march. The monks of St 
Alban's, it is said, hung supplications on the walla 
of their Abbey: " God spare us from Glyndwr/ 

Undismayed by the failure of his previous 
expeditions against Glyndwr, King Henry IV entered 
upon a fourth campaign by way of Hereford in 1404 
A.D. On the 16th of September the King was at 
Oaermarthen in the centre of a devastated district. 
Orders were issued by him for supplies from Eng- 
land to relieve some of the most hard-pressed castles 
of South Wales. Amongst those in that condition 
were Abergavenny, Caerlleon, TJsk, Caerphilly, Car- 
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diff, Newport, Brecon, Kidwelly, Milford. Haver- 
fordwest, Pembroke, and Tenby. The King remained 
but two days at Caermarthen, and then began his 
oft-repeated policy of " scuttle." 

On the homeward track he was closely followed 
by Glyndwr, who obliterated absolutely the effects 
of the Eoyal visit. He swept through Glamorgan, 
and with the assistance of his faithful henchman 
from Ehondda Valley — " Cadwgan y Fwyell " — ^he 
once more possessed himself of the greater part of 
Morganwg. With the dawn of the year 1406 a.d., 
Glyndwr put in an appearance in various parts of 
the county. The lolo MSS. tell us that he again 
" destroyed Cardiflf and won the castle." It is upon 
record that he demolished the castles of Penlline, 
Llandochwy (Llandough), Flemingstone, Dunraven, 
Talyfan, Llanblethian, Llangeinor, Malafant, and 
Penmark. It was upon this occasion that the great 
battle of Stallingdown, i.e., Bryn Owen, near Cow- 
bridge, was fought. Glyndwr is reported to have 
gathered to his side nearly the whole of the native 
population of Glamorgan, as recorded in the lolo 

" They flocked around him with one accord, and 

demolished houses and castles innumerable; 

laid waste and made quite fenceless the lands ; 

and gave them in common to all. He took away 

from the rich and powerful, and distributed 

the plunder among the weak and poor." 

The men of the Ehondda, under " Cadwgan y 

Fwyell," mustered in great force upon this occasion ; 

and the native forces, it is said, fought the King's 

, men for eighteen hours, until the latter were put 

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to flight with unusual slaughter, " during which the 
blood was up to the horses' fetlocks at Pantywenol, 
that separates both ends of the mountain." 

The extraordinary run of success which waited 
upon Glyndwr in all his campaigns was to receive 
its first check in the early part of this year. The 
renowned Rhys Gethin, the hero of the battle of 
Pilleth, led his conquering army of 8,000 . men 
through . Glamorganshire and Monmouthshire • by 
way of Abergavenny, with the intention of crossing 
the English border. He was met at Grosmont by 
Prince Henry, who inflicted upon him a crushing 
defeat, with the loss of eight hundred men left dead 
upon the field. Prince Henry wrote his father, the 
King, the following characteristic letter of the first 
success of the Royal arms since the comBajeacement 
of the revolt. It is not to be wondered at that there 
was great rejoicing in the royal camp. 

** My most redoubted and most Sovereign Lord 
and father, I sincerely pray that God will 
graciously show His miraculous aid towards 
you in all places, praised be He in all His 
works, for on Wednesdaj'-, the eleventh of this 
present month of March, your rebels of the 
parts of Glamorgan, Morgannok, Usk, Nether- 
went, and Overwent, assembled to the number 
of eight thousand men, according to their own 
account, and they went on the same Wednes- 
day, in the morning, and burnt a part of your 
town of Grossmont, within your lordship oi 
Monmouth and Jennoia. Presently went oul 
my well-.beloved cousin, the Lord Talbot, and 
the small body of my household, and with 

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them joined your faithful and valiant 
knights, William Newport, and John Gfein- 
dor, the which formed but a small power 
in the whole ; but true it is indeed that victory 
• is not in the multitude of people, and this was 
well proved there, but in the power of God, 
and there by the aid of the blessed Trinity, 
your people gained the field, and vanquished 
all the said rebels, and slew of them by fair 
account in field, a thousand, being questioned 
on pain of death : nevertheless, whether it were 
one or the other I will not contend, and to 
inform you fully of all that has been done, 
I send you a person worthy of credit therein, 
my faithful servant, the bearer of this letter, 
who was at the engagement and performed 
his duty well, as he has always done. And 
such amends has God ordained you for the 
burning of your houses in the aforesaid town, 
and of prisoners were none taken except one, 
a great chief among them, whom I would 
have sent to you, but he cannot yet ride at 
** Written at Hereford^ the said Wednesday at 

*' Your most humble and obedient son. 
" Henry." 
Glyndwr, with his usual celerity of despatch, 
pushed forward reinforcements of his men, under 
his brother Tudor, to redeem the fortunes of that day 
of misfortunes at Grosmont. These with the remnant 
of Gethin's force were met at Mynydd Pwllmelyn, in 
Breconshire, by Prince Henry, and were defeated 

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with more calamitous results than at the previous 
conflict. It is upon record that fifteen hundred of 
the Cymry were slain and made prisoners. Among 
the slain was Owain's brother, who so closely re- 
sembled the chieftain, that it became bruited abroad 
that the great Glyndwr had fallen. In the lolo MSS. 
we have it recorded : — 

" In 1405 a bloody battle, attended with great 
slaughter that in severity was scarcely ever 
exceeded in Wales, took place on Pwll Mel in; 
Gryffyth ab Owen and his men were taken 
and many of them imprisoned, but many 
were put to death when captured, whereupon 
all Glamorgan turned Saxon, except a small 
number who followed their lord to North 

Notwithstanding these two defeats within a week 
of one another, we find that in the early summer of 
1406 A.D., the French King, who had previously con- 
cluded a treaty with Glyndwr, as " Owain, Prince of 
Wales," now sent him military assistance. The 
French troops, variously estimated at from three to 
twelve thousand men, arrived at Mil ford Haven in 
July in a fleet of 140 ships, commanded by Count 
de Hugueville. Glyndwr met them with a following 
of ten thousand men. They laid siege to Haverford- 
west and captured the town ; but the Norman fortress 
within, with its English garrison, under the com- 
mand of the Earl of Arundel, repelled all attacks. 
Glyndwr next ravaged the Flemish settlements of 
Pembrokeshire, and proceeded to attack the county 
town of Caermarthen. The town and castle capitu- 

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lated, and the English garrison was permitted to 
withdraw with full military honours. 

Glyndwr and his French allies next marched 
through 'Glamorgan, which had fallen away from its 
allegiance to him. after the severe reverses of Gros- 
mont and PwUmelyn. He is said to have given the 
people of Morganwg a taste of his relentless methods 
upon this occasion. The allies then proceeded 
through Gwent and Herefordshire into Worcester- 
shire, and having arrived within nine miles of the 
county town, they were informed that Henry IV was 
in the city. Owain and Hugueville encamped their 
men on the summit of Woodbury Hill, called to this 
day *' Owain's Camp," whilst the King encamped his 
army on the opposite hill, a deep valley separ- 
ating the two hosts. The opposing armies faced 
one another in these positions for the space of eight 
days, neither attempting to attack the other. The 
supply of food of the allied forces running short, 
Owain and Hugueville deemed it prudent to with- 
draw from English soil. The King endeavoured to 
follow in pursuit, but after the hungry soldiers of 
the allied army had turned back and had succeeded 
in capturing eighteen waggon-loads of Henry's pro- 
visions, the pursuit was abandoned. 

Henry IV commenced his fifth invasion of the 
Principality in September, 1406. He came upon this 
occasion into Glamorgan, and is said to have suc- 
ceeded in relieving the single castle of Coity, the 
home of Sir John Berkrolles. 

" He then turned tail," says Mr. Bradley," and 
the Welsh at once, as in every case but one, 
when there was no need of it, sprang upon 

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his back. Besides his spears and arrows 
Glyndwr once more worked his magic wand. 
The heavens descended and the floods came 
and soaked and buffetted the hapless mon- 
arch, and his still more wretched and ill- 
provisioned troops. Every river ran bank- 
high, and every brook was in flood ; and the 
clumsy carts that carried the commissariat 
were captured by Glyndwr's men, or whirled 
away in the rapids. The old story of 1402 
was repeated in the autumn of 1405. The 
royal army on their return had to cross the 
valley of the Rhondda, where the national 
cause, though more than once suppressed, 
was always vigorous, and responded to its 
famous war-cry, " Cadwgan whet thy Dattle- 
The French fleet at Milford Haven, diminishea 
by incessant attacks from land and sea, had with- 
drawn from that place, and urlyndwr, having no 
further need of the troops, provided them with the 
means of transport in the spring of the year 1406. 
They then embarked and sailed for France. 

As the year 1406 advanced Glyndwr's ascendancy 
began to wane. The English Parliament considered 
it necessary to interfere, for the purpose of winning 
the Welsh from their devotion to the Cymric hero, 
and therefore decreed that heritages talcen from the 
Welsh landowners were not to be granted or trans- 
ferred to new owners until the expiration of three 
months; after that, that all such properties would 
be confiscated. This caused many Welsh land- 
owners in various parts of Wales to desert the cause 

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of Glyndwr. Pardons were freely offered, and even 
urged upon offending Cymry in the most lenient 

The native nobility of Ystrad Tywi in Caer- 
marthenshire, who had ever been most loyal and 
energetic in the national movement, threw in tneir 
allegiance to the English cause and declared for 
King Henry IV. This tended to the discouragement 
of Glyndwr's most ardent supporters throughout the 
Principality. We are told by chroniclers of thi& 
particular period in Glyndwr's career, that he wan- 
dered the country sometimes alone and disguised, 
and sometimes with a few trusty followers. He is 
represented going about disguised with a view of 
discovering the inner sentiments of the people to- 
wards him. It is probable that to this period 
belongs the well-known incident recorded by Malkin, 
in which Glyndwr visited Sir Lawrence BerkroUes, 
of East Orchard Castle. 

" In this castle it is said that Owen Glyndwr 
slept three nights, and was sumptuously 
entertained for four days without his person 
being known, or his rank discovered. At 
this very time Sir Lawrence BerkroUes, the 
last of the family, had despatched one hun- 
dred of his tenants in search of him in 
various directions, with promises of very 
large rewards for taking him, and bringing 
him to East Orchard, either dead or alive. 
Owen, when he departed without any attend- 
ants except one servant, thus addressed Sir 
Lawrence : 
** ' Owen Glyndwr, as an honest and sincere- 
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friend, gives Sir Lawrence BerkroUes his 
hand, with thanks for his kind hospitality, 
declaring that he will never think of retali- 
ation, and is determined to forget the injuries 
intended him by his unconscious host.' 
" With these words, unprotected as he wfi[s, he 
immediately sallied from the mansion. It is 
said that Sir Lawrence was struck dumb wiin 
astonishment, and never recovered his 
The liberal terms offered by the Government to all 
Glyndwr's supporters who were ready to desert him, 
were already bearing fruit, and the insurrection as 
a national movement had for all practical purposes 
burnt itself out by the year 1408; but Griyndwr's 
name was held in great dread for many years sub- 
sequent to this. Even in the year 1413. when Prince 
Henry had ascended the throne as King Henry V, 
we find Glyndwr in the fastnesses of his mountains 
-carrying on a kind of guerilla warfare with royal 
troops stationed in various places to check his raids. 
By the year 141B a.d., the gallant old hero, who 
refused to ask for, or to receive a favour, fades from 
the public view. It is generally thought that he 
passed his last days in his daughter's house at Mon- 
nigton, on the borders of Hereford and Monmouth. 
As an old chronicler states, his end seems to be 
surrounded with the same romantic charm as that 
of the traditionary King Arthur. 

THE TUDOR PEEIOD (148B-1603 a.d.). 

During the War of the Roses the Welsh had 
shown greater sympathy with the House of York 

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than with the House of Lancaster, as witness the 
outbreak of the rebellion of Owain Glyndwr.. and 
their partiality for Eichard II. But when a scion of 
their own blood lineage made his appearance as a 
claimant to the English throne from the House of 
Lancaster, they sank their hatred and antagonism, 
and took up his cause with the enthusiasm which 
is ever their characteristic. This was nobly seen in 
the way that the Cymry espoused the cause of Henry 
Tudor, or Tewdwr, Earl of Eichmond, the grandson 
of Owen Tudor of Penmynydd, in Anglesey. 

Henry Tudor landed at Milford Haven on August 
6th, 1485. He was met by Sir Ehys ab Thomas, of 
Carew Castle, in Pembrokeshire, and of Abermarlais, 
in Caermarthenshire. Ehys received the new claim- 
ant with a force of 2,000 horsemen ready to join 
him and to act as his bodyguard. Henry unfurled 
his Cymric colours, white and green, with the san- 
guine dragon of the ancient Cadwaladr, and set 
forth, after resting a night at Talley Abbey, to meet 
Richard the Third at Bosvvorth Field, where he 
gained a complete victory. 

When Henry Tudor ascended the throne he took 
possession of the lordship of Glamorgan, i.e., the 
lordship of Robert Fitzhammon, the Clares, and De- 
speiisers, in his own private right in virtue of his 
conquest of Richard III, who had held the lordship. 
Richard came into possession of it by his marriage 
with Anne, the flaughter of Richard Neville, Earl 
of Warwick, the " King Maker." Neville had secured 
the lordship by marriage with the sister of Henry 
Beauchamp, who in turn had married into the family 
of the Despensers. Beauchamp having died without 

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heirs, the lordship reverted to his sister Anne, and 
through her to the ** K^'ng j\Iaker.'* Thus, when Rich- 
ard Crookback became married to a daughter of 
the " King Maker " the lordship of Glamorgan be- 
came his property; and when he ascended the throne 
it became crown demesnes, and descended by con- 
quest to Henry VII in 1485. 

Henry made a gift of the lordship to his uncle, 
Jasper Tudor, Duke of Bedford and Earl of Pem- 
broke, who was a wise and prudent administrator, a 
Cymro to boot, and a great patron of the Welsh bards 
and Cymric institutions. 

Although Henry VII did not repeal the obnoxious 
laws which Had been in force against the Welsh 
from the time of Henry IV, yet he granted the 
native population charters which made the admin- 
istration loss irritable, and relieved them from the 
most grievous part of their thraldom. Henry was 
a selfish man, but he never forgot the great debt 
which he owed his Cymric countrymen; and it is 
a well-known fact that he heaped honours and 
favours galore on Sir Rhys ab Thomas and others. 
Natives of the Principality were alw'ajrs Welcome 
at Coutt. This, and the belief in his good intentions 
towards them, were the means of soothing the feel- 
ings of the Welsh, and of generating a better feeliner 
in the English towards them. 

The administration of the lordship of Glamorgan 
by Jasper Tudor, as a L6rd Marcher, was in every 
sense tlie most beneficial to the native inhabitants 
and to the county as a whole. A large number of 
the Cymry had b^en deprived of their hereditaments 
by Henry V, because they had favottted" and' sup- 
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ported Owain Glyndwr. The descendants of these 
families were in a state of disaffection because of 
the witholding of these heritages from them. One 
of his first acts was to restore to every one his 
rightful heritage. 

He is said to have built cottages for the 
husbandmen and labourers, and to have caused 
apple and pear orchards to be planted in 
their vicinity, thus giving the tenements an aspect 
of comfort and tastefulness. He instructed that the 
lands were to be properly enclosed, as they had been 
previous to the devastation and ravages brought 
about in the time of Glyndwr, when all the lands 
of Glamorgan were converted into common property. 

Jasper Tudor is said to have been a great church 
restorer and tower builder. He is credited with the 
restoration of a section of the cathedral at Llandaff. 
The perpendicular north-west tower bears his name, 
as does that of St. Gwynllyw's Church at Newport, 
where the headless statue of a knight in armour on 
the west front, has been identified by Archaiologists 
as that of this deserving nobleman. At his death 
the lordship reverted to the crown. 


Henry VIII ascended the throne in 1609 a.d., there 
was no question, next to the Eeformation, which 
caused the King and his advisers more anxiety than 
the powers of the Lords Marchers. To curtail or 
suppress the authority exercised by these border 
lords from time immemorial, required the whole 
power of the British constitution. In all, there 
were over one hundred and forty Lordship Marches 

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on the borders of the Brincipality, and, strange to 
say, these were beyond or outside the pale of juris- 
diction of the King's Court. Each was governed by 
its own ancient laws and customs, and administered 
JURA REGALIA by its owu lord in his own court. 

Everyone of the Lordship Marches was a kind of 
city of refuge for criminals from the neighbouring 
lordship. The man who committed robbery, mur- 
der, or any other crime, escaped to the aa joining 
lordship, and thus evaded punishment. The people 
of Gwent and Morganwg with the utmost impunity 
made raids across the Severn to plunder the people 
of Gloucestershire and Somersetshire, and then re- 
turned with their booty to the Forest of Dean and 
Netherwent, where they were secure from punish- 
ment, whilst the pillaged went without compenwv- 
tion. It is recorded that in the year 1B3B a.d., the 
last year of the jura regalia of the Lords Marchers, 
one nobleman, Sir William Herbert, of the Magor 
lordship, protected in his domains and castles 
twenty-three men who had committed murder, five 
of whom were guilty of wilful murder in various 
other lordships. Besides these there were in hiding 
in this same lordship twenty thieves and outlaws^ 
among whom were some who were guilty of robbing 
a man and his mother, whom they put " on a hotte 
trevet to make them schow." Another record tells 
us that a band of thieves had robbed Llandaff 
Cathedral of its valuables, and had escaped to one 
of the adjoining lordships where they were pro- 

Some attempts had been made as early as the 
reign of Edward III to curtail the power of these 

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border lords, by the establishment of the Council of 
the Marches at Ludlow. But the sphere of useful- 
ness of the Court had fallen into considerable de- 
suetude by the time of the Tudor sovereigns; and 
the evil effects of these independent little enclosures 
continued for many years, even of the reign of 
Henry VIII. 

Their repeal was brought about by the patriotic 
and untiring zeal of Sir John Price, of the Priory, 
Brecknock, a member of the Council of the Court 
of the Marches. He was the chief agent in the 
drafting of a petition to the King from the inhabit- 
ants of the Principality asking that they might be 
" received and adopted into the same laws and pri- 
vileges, which the King's other subjects enjoyed." 
This petition presents before one's view a compre- 
hensive and interesting epitome of Welsh history. 
It describes in brief the situation of the country, the 
inequality of the laws, and the lack of uniformity 
which existed in the application of such laws. It 
particularises the loyalty of the people to the right- 
ful descendants of Edward I, and their antagonism 
to the rule of Henry IV. Then it notices the loyalty 
of the Cymry to the House of York, until one of 
their own kith and kin, in the person of Henry 
Tudor, made tKem to espouse the cause of the House 
of Lancaster. This interesting petition closes with 
expressions of loyalty towards the House of Tudor, 
and an eloquent plea for the preservation of their 
ancient language. 

As a result of this petition, the King, in the 27th 
year of his reign, i.e., in 1636 a.d., caused to be 

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passed into law an Act incorporating Wales to Eng- 
land. The preamble of it reads as follows : — 

" As the dominion, principality, and country of 
Wales is a member and part of the temporal 
crown of this realm, whereof therefore the 
King is head and ruler ; yet as it hath divers 
rights, usages, laws, and customs, very dif- 
ferent to the laws and customs of this realm ; 
and because the language of that country is 
different from that which is spoken here, 
and that many rude people hereupon have 
. made distinction and diversity betwixt his 
highness's other subjects and them, to the 
causing of much discord and sedition; his 
highness, therefore out of his love and favour 
to his subjects in Wales, and for reducing 
them to his laws, doth by advice and con- 
sent of his Parliament ordain and enact that 
Wales shall be united and incorporated 
henceforth to, and with his realm of Eng- 
land; and that his subjects in Wales shall 
enjoy and inherit all singular freedoms, 
liberties, rights, privileges, and laws which 
his highness's subjects elsewhere enjoy and 
inherit. And therefore that inheritance shall 
descend after the manner of England, with- 
out division or partition, and not after any 
tenure or form of Welsh laws or customs." 

From the time of Edward I there had been '* eight 
shires of ancient and long time," viz., Glamorgan, 
Caormarthen, Pembroke, Cardigan, Flint, Carnar- 
von, Anglesey, and Merioneth. Five more were 

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added to them from the Marches, viz., Monmouth, 
Brecknock, Eadnor, Montgomery, and Denbigh. 
" And for as much as there are divers Lordships 
Marchers within the said country or domin- 
ion of Wales, being no parcel of any other 
shires where the laws and due correction is 
used and had, and that in them and the 
counties adjoining manifold murders, rob- 
beries, felonies, and the like have been done, 
contrary to all law and justice, because the 
oifenders, making their refuge from one Lord- 
ship Marcher to another, were continued with- 
out punishment and correction; tEereJore it 
is enacted that the said Lordships Marchers 
shall be united, annexed, and joined, to divers 
shires specified in the said Act. 
By the Act every county was priviiee;ed for the 
first time to send a knight as its representative to the 
Imperial Parliament. Boroughs were in a similar 
manner entitled to send a burgess to represent them. 
Glamorganshire was entitled to two representatives, 
one for the county and one for the boroughs, viz., 
Cardifif, Cowbridge, Llantrissant, Kenfig, Aberaven, 
Neath, Swansea, and Loughor. This was the repre- 
sentation of the county until the passing: of the 
first Eeform Act in 1832. 

HOUSES. — The dissolution of the monasteries and 
other kindred religious establishments was the next 
great event of the reign of Henry the Eighth, as far 
as it affected the county of Glamorgan. The Ee- 
formation had been in progress for some years, but 

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the Welsh people in general were, strange to say, 
quite indifferent to the great upheaval. This may 
have arisen from the fact that the leaders of the 
movement in Wales were for the most part ±^nglish- 
men, and as such failed to command the confidence 
of the people. In the heart of the Cjnnro there was 
a genuine respect for i-eligion; but from the very 
earliest mediaeval times he was intolerant of priestly 
interference, and was quite out of sympathy with 
priestcraft as an institution. There had ever been 
a mortal feud between the bards and the priestly 
orders of Eome. 

The bards of Wales, led by that consum- 
mate genius of the muse, Dafydd ab Qwilym 
the bard of Ivor Hael, possessed far more influence 
with the imaginative Cymro, than did the papist- 
ical clergy with their serious ministrations and their 
perpetual round of ceremonials. The literature of 
the middle ages, both English and Welsh, is full of 
jest and satire at the expense of monkish greed and 
priestly gluttony. The native landowners envied 
the ease and comforts of the abbots, who at all times 
displayed greater wealth and authority than them- 
selves in the wide acres and extensive pasture lands 
attached to their abbeys. The parochial or outdoor 
clergy, and the preaching friars with their paltry 
pittances, did not fail to avail themselves of every 
opportunity for declaiming against the ease and 
luxurious living of their more favoured brethren 
within the cloisters, for they had succeeded in cap- 
turing the greater tithes of the parishes for the 
maintenance of their huge establishments. Conse- 
quently there had arisen a general belief among the- 

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masses that the monastic orders were guilty of the 
most heinous offences. 

A commission was appointed by the King to 
enquire into the mode of life practised by the monks 
and nuns in their various establishments. Upon 
this commission there sat a Welshman, Sir John 
Price, of Brecknock. The. report was made, and in 
it the commissioners represented that the religious 
houses were the receptactes of the grossest vices. 
Whether justly or otherwise, the monks and nuns 
became the objects of universal detestation. Steps 
Were therefore taken by the King and his Council 
to suppress the lesser monasteries in the year 1636 
A.D. The preamble of the Bill laid before Parlia- 
ment concluded thus: — 

** Whereupon the said Lords and Commons by 
a great deliberation, finally be resolved that 
it is, and shall be, much more to the pleasure 
of Almighty God, and for the honour of this, 
His realm, that the possessions of such houses 
now being spent and wasted for the main- 
tenance of sin, should be used and committed 
to better uses, and the unthrifty, and irre- 
ligious persons so spending the same, to be 
compelled to reform their lives." 

It is recorded that 380 of the lesser houses, with 
an annual income of less than £200 each, were thus 
scheduled, the total annual revenues of which 
reached £32,000, exclusive of the value of the ready 
inoney, plate, and jewels. The Bill did not pass 
the House of Commons without some difficulty, for 
the King found it necessary to stimulate his " faith- 

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ful Commoners " with the remark, " I will have it 
passed, or I will have some of your heads." 

The superiors of the suppressed houses were 
promised small pensions for life. Whether this was 
«ver paid is open to much doubt. Monks under the 
age of twenty-four were absolved from their vows, 
and fumed adrift upon the world without any pro- 
vision. Those who were older, if they desired to 
continue in their chosen calling, were permitted to 
enter the greater monasteries, as specified in the act, 
" That the monks of the smaller houses should be 
committed to great and honourable monasteries of 
religion in this realm, where they may be compelled 
to live religiously for reformation of their lives." 
The nuns were turned loose to beg or starve, having 
nothing given them, save one common gown for 

Some of the lesser monasteries were found to be of 
sufficiently good behaviour, and possessed sufficient 
wealth, to escape suppression under the Act of 1636. 
Among these there were found three Welsh founda- 
tions, one of which was in Glamorgan, viz., Neath 
Abbey. The other two were " Alba Landa " (Whit- 
land), and " Strathfloure " (Strata Florida). Neath 
was favoured with its charter of continuance on the 
30th of January, 1637, upon the payment of the sum 
of £160 to the King's exchequer. 

The perpetuation of the " great solemn mon- 
asteries where religion is well kept and observed," 
as the Act of 1636 expresses it, was not of long con- 
tinuance. Henry VIII, having once tasted the sweets 
of plunder was unable to resist the temptation of a 

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repetition of his policy of spoKation. So that in 
less than three years time, by the Act of 1639, all 
religious houses were suppressed without a single 

The opposition to these acts of spoliation ana sup- 
pression in Glamorgan was but slight. The rich and 
powerful were bought over by liberal ejifts of lana 
taken from the religious establishments of the 
county, whilst the peasantry and the poor hard- 
toiling classes were led to believe that the confisca- 
tory process was but a part of the ameliorating 
measure for the general uplifting of the whole of 
the Principality. 

The extent to which the county of (Glamorgan 
suffered may be gathered from the following particu- 
lars of the various institutions despoiled and sup- 
pressed: — Neath Abbey founded about 1129 a.d., 
by Eichard de Granville, for the Cistercians, had 
eight monks at the dissolution. Its gross income 
was computed at £150 4s. 9d., whilst its clear net 
income was £132 7s. 7d, It was sold to Sir Eichard 
Williams, of Llanishen, ancestor of Oliver Crom- 

EwENNY Peioby fouuded by Maurice de Londres 
in 1141 A.D., for Benedictines, had an income vari- 
ously stated as £78 Os. 8d. gross, and £59 4s. Od. 

Margam Abbsy founded by Eobert, Earl of Glou- 
cester, for Cistercians in 1147 a.d. Its emoluments 
totalled £188 14s. Od. gross, and £181 7s. 4d. net. 
These were sold to Sir Eice Mansel, High Sheriff 
of Glamorgan in 1541 a.d. 

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In i;he Cardiff EiBcords. Vol.' I, there is an inter- 
esting meiiiio. relative to the period of persecution 
which followed in the footsteps of the changes in 
religious administration. A Cardiff citizen, by name 
Thomas Capper, was attainted of heresy in the reign 
qf "bluff Hal," and was burned at the stake in a 
public place. The costs incurred in reference to 
the affair are recorded in what is called ** Minister's 
accounts for 1642-3 " where it is stated that 4s. 4d. 
were paid for " costs and expenses sustained in the 
burning of Thomas Capper," and 6s. lOd. for his diet. 
** at the rate of one penny per day." Capper, how- 
ever, was in prison for 130 days. 

The lordship of Glamorgan remained in the direct 
possession of the crown until the d^ath of Henry'^yill 
in 1647; When Edward VI ascended the thrpne 
he also retained the lordship until the year 1561 
A,D./ and then conferred it by letters patent upon 
\Villiam Herbext, the first Earl of PemDroke, also 
design9,ted Baron Herbert of Cardiff. The King 
made him *' Lord President of the Council of Wales," 
the court which had supplanted. ,the old " Court 
of the Marches." Herbert was a Welshman by. 
birth and extraction, and proved himself a worthy 
friend of his countrymen in Glamorgan. .He. is. 
credited with having coiumissioneid two gentlemen 
of his kindred, well-versed in horticulture', who re- 
sided at Llandaff, to visit France for the purpose 
of purchasing fruit trees for the use'-of his tenantry 
in the Glamorgan lordship. One of these gentlemen, 
named Eichard Herbert, became chiW ejardener to 
Hihg Edward VI. * . . ': 

Upon the death of William Herb^tt; the' lordship' 

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passed to his son, Henry, the second Earl of Pem- 
broke, who filled the office until his death in 1601 

A.D. • 


REIGN. — Th^ reign of Queen Elizabeth witnessed 
great tef orms and progress in the well-being of the 
Cymry. commercially, religiously, and politically. 
Perhaps the religious awakening, was the greatest 
in importance, from the marked respect and defer- 
ence which were paid to the language of the people 
— ^the Cymric tongue. The Liturgy of the Re- 
formed Church was of necessity read in all the 
churches, but in the English language, respecting 
which Fuller wrote : — '' It might be said to have been 
read in Latin, English being Latin to them, as in 
most parishes of Wales utterly un-understood." 
This performance of the religious services in a lan- 
guage, unknown to the people was regarded as a 
slavish imitation of the Church of Rome, and as an 
attempt to keep the Welsh in utter ignorance. 

The moral condition of the people had probably 
reached its lowest ebb when Queen Elizabeth as- 
cended the throne, and this is not to be wondered at 
when we consider the reaction which took place in 
favour of Roman Catholicism in the time of Queen 
Mary. People had become quite indifferent to mat- 
ters of religion. John Penry, the great noncon- 
formist patriot and martyr, described the county of 
Glamorgan as the lowest in the scale of moral at- 
tainments in the Principality. He was most severe 
upon the clergy, " In some places, says' he, " a 
sermon is read once in three months." Theti ho pro- 
ceeds to describe them as, 

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"Thieves an'd murderers of souls^ the very pat- 
tei*ns and patrons of all covetousness, proud 
and more than Pope-like tyrants, the very de- 
featers of God's truth, unlearned dolts, blind 
guides, unseasoned and unsavoury salt, 
drunkards, adulterers, foxes, and wolves, 
mire and puddle; to be brief, the very 
swinesty of all uncleanness, and the very 
ignominy and reproach of the sacred minis- 

He proceeds in his invective and states that there 
were admitted 

" Unto this sacred function rogues, vagabonds, 
gadding about the country under the name of 
scholars ; spendthrifts and starving men, that 
made the ministry their last refuge. In the 
ministry there are known adulterers, known 
thieves, and roisterers, most abominable 
swearers, even the men of whom Job speaketh. 
who are more vile than the earth." 

Not only John Penry but other God-fearing men 
in high places spoke strongly, but with great feeling, 
of the low moral condition into which 'the country 
was gradually descending. iiishop-Eichard Daivies, 
of St. David's, was called upon to raise his voice 
against the gentry. He censured them most severely 
for abetting thieves and robbers, and denounced them 
for their general greed for land, gold, silver, and 
riches; "few" says he, "were to be found that 
trusted h: God and His promises." 

One of the first acts of the Queen, in her concern 
for " her people of Wales," was to request her Parlia- 

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ment of the year 1663, to carry into law a Bill for 
the translation of the " Holy Scriptures," and the 
" Book of Common Prayer," into Welsh. This was to 
be completed by the 1st of March, 1566, under a 
penalty of forty pounds each from the five bishops 
in whose dioceses Welsh was spoken, viz., St. 
David's, St. Asaph, Bangor, Llandafif, and Here- 
ford. These bishops were the appointed editors of 
the undertaking. The preamble of the Act stated 
that the people of Wales being no small part of this 
realm are utterly destitute of God's Holy Word, and 
do remain in the like or rather more darkness and 
ignorance than they were in the times of Papistry. 
The Act ordained that a copy of the translations 
when printed was to be placed in every parish 
church and chapel in Wales. 

But the translation was not completed by the 
stipulated time, for the Act had made no provision 
as to the cost of the undertaking. However, by pri- 
vate enterprise a copy of the New Testament was 
issued in the year 1667. This is known as the Salis- 
bury Testament. It was dedicated to Her Majesty 
the Queen, and has an introductory epistle to the 
Welsh people " i bop map eneid dyn o vewn ey 
escopawt," by Dr. Richard Da vies, Bishop of St. 
David's. It is a quarto volume in black letter tjrpe, 
the text not being divided into verses. Dr. Davies, in 
his introductory epistle, makes the following strong 
observations: — 

" Often in Wales the hall of the ^ntleman i& 
found to be the refuge of thieves. Therefore, 
I say that were it not for the arms and winga 

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of the gentry, there would be but little theft in 

' The " Book of Common Prayer " in the Welsh lan- 
guage made its appearance at the same time as the 
New I'estjiment. But tlie first complete Welsh Bible 
was not published until the year 1688 a.d. 

In her appointment of bishops for the Welsh dio- 
ceses the Queen showed her preference for Welshmen. 
Her first nomination to the see of Llandaff was Hugh 
Jones, a prebendary of Llandaff, and rector of Tre- 
dunnock in Gwent. He was the first Cvmro who had 
occupied the Chair of St. Teilo for a period of three 
hundred years. To his successor, Dr. William Mor- 
gan, who occupied the see for only a very short 
time, Wales is indebted for the whole translation of 
the Bible (vide Topog. of Llandaff). 


REIGN. — Trade and commerce made great and 
rapid strides during this reigr, in which Glamor- 
ganshire obtained its fair share. The Queen, sur- 
rounding herself with wise counsellors, and being a 
far-sighted woman, took steps to forbid the importa- 
tion of swords, knives, and other articles of manu- 
factured iron from abroad. Fearing, however, the 
inconvenience which miffht arise from such legisla- 
tion. Her Majesty invited workers in metals, handi- 
craftsmen, and miners from Flanders and from 
Germany, that they might develop the resources of 
the country, and create in " her people " the enthu- 
siasm necessary for the scientific working of the 
mines of this country. Thus we find the ** Mines 
IJoyal Society," a London company, erecting a 

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"** meltinge-liouse at Neath in Wales " in the year 
1583,' for the smelting of copper, in which the skilled 
workmen were of Dutch and German nationality. 
Ironsmelting in bloomers with charcoal was carried 
on in a small way at Merthyr Tydfil. An extensive 
export trade in coal was- carried on with Bristol, 
Gloucester, and other places on the Somerset and 
i)eyoh coasts. It is interesting to notice that in the 
State Papers of the year 1618, there is a memorandum 
stating that coal was dear inW ales, being 6s. 8d. per 
chaldron, instead of the average 3s.; consequently 
an impost was levied upon exported coals, for the 
purpose of keeping down the price for home con- 
isumption. ^ 

In agriculture and husbandry great strides were 
made m the cultivation of the land, and in sundry 
improvements introduced. Thomas Churchyard, the 
topographical rhymster of the reign of Elizabeth, 
in his later years went *' sundry times of purpose " 
through Wales to give a description of the country. 
In comparing it to other countries he said : — 

" For France is fine, and full of f utlilesB ways ; 
Poor Flanders gross, and far from happy days; 
liich Spain is proud, and stem to strangers all- 
in Italy . poisoning is always rife, 
And Germany to drunkenness doih fall. 
The Danes likewise do lead a bibbling life; 
The Soots seek blood and bear a cruel mind; 
Ireland grows noughir— the people were ■nnlrind. 
England, God wot, hath learned such lewdness late, 
That Wales, methinks, is now the soundest state." 

Of . Glamorganshire he sings : — 

"The ground mannurde, the grain doth eo encrease 
That thousands live in wealth and blessed- peace/' 

The county, if one may /?ather from the above 
aistifeh, had, to a certain extent, won back to itself 

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its fame of former ages, of the days of Bhys ab 
Arthfael, of being the chief corn-growing territory 
of the Principality, 

The glimpses of social life which have been pre- 
served to us of this period, show that the cost of 
living was on the whole fairly moderate. One of the 
numerous tourists of the Tudor era, John Taylor, 
usually styled the " Water poet," has given us some 
interesting glimpses of the cost of various articles 
of diet, in the closing quarter of the 16th century. 
He tells us that the best butter might be obtained for 
2Jd. or 3d. a lb ; beef for IJd. a lb ; eggs at twelve 
a penny ; *' salmon two-and-a-half feet long (big 
fish !) for 12d." ; oysters a penny for a hundred ; pears . 
six a penny. " In fact," says Taylor, " everjrthing 
was cheap and plentiful save tobacco pipes." 

W. W. Wynne, in the Periiarth MSS. of the same 
period, speaking of the cost of living, says, that six 
chickens cost only 16d. ; a whole pig could be bought 
for 12d. ; a whole mutton would cost from 4s. 6d. to 
5s.; a duck cost 6d.; a goose four times the duck"; 
but a flitch of cured bacon cost as much as 8s. ; fish 
sufficient for a special occasion when a distinguished 
guest was to be entertained, required no greater out- 
lay than 9d. ; oatmeal was sdld at 16s. a peck, whilst 
wheat fetched 6s. the " hobbett." 

With such great progress in industrial and agri- 
cultural pursuits, the produce of which found ready 
markets in places across the channel, at Bristol, 
Gloucester, and even on the Irish coasts, there came 
into existence a great danger to the trade of the 
country, by the appearance of pirates all along the 

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Glamorgan coast. According to the letters of Lord 
Mountjoy in the " Stradling Correspondence," they 
were chiefly Moors from Spain and Algiers. The 
most renowned and daring of these pirates was one 
Colyn Dolphin, a Breton, who made his headquarters 
in the island of Lundy, where he kept many a rich 
man captive until ransomed. 

Sir Henry Stradling, one of the family of St. 
Donat's, was captured by this famous sea-rover, for 
whose ransom a sum of 2,000 marks, i.e., about 
£1,400 of our money, was demanded. Sir Henry 
was in dire straits, for we are told that his family 
were under the necessity to sell several of his manors 
in the counties of Glamorgan and Monmouth to meet 
Colyn Dolphin's exaction. 

We learn from the " State Papers " of the period 
that Cardiff laboured under the bad odour of being 
a general resort of the Channel pirates, where they 
did much business and were sheltered. This perhaps 
is corroborative testimony of the rising prosperity 
of our county during the Elizabethan era. The 
Admiral of the seas, who was appointed by Her 
Majesty to check these venturesome sea-rovers, was 
Sir John Perrott. 

In one of the letters of the " Stradling Corres- 
pondence " is a statement, that some market people, 
in returning from St. James* Fair, Bristol, across 
the channel, to either Cardiff or Neath, were robbed 
by a pirate company. Their boat with its goods was 
towed to the Mumbles. The writer of the letter, 
which is dated 9th September, 1676, asks Sir Edward 
Stradling, of St. Donat's Castle, to use his influence 

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334 .,. : QLAMORQAN, 

to get the goods found in the boat restored to the 
aggrieved people. 

When Charles I, at a later period, endeavoured to 
raise money, without the consent of Parliament, for 
the war with Spain, it is upon record that the people 
of Glamorganshire had suffered such extensive losses 
from the hands of the Moorish pirates, who had cap- 
tured five of their trading ships, conveying butter to 
France and to Ireland, that it was unreasonable to 
expect them to contribute towards the subsidy. Many 
farmers, upon this occasion, were absolutely ruined, 
and were unable even to pay their rents. Several 
of them had been captured by the pirates, and were 
detained at Sallee, from whence they implored their 
friends to endeavour to release them. 

Ireland, in the days of Queen Elizabeth, occupied 
some attention, and required the presence of 
the military there, as will be observed in the follow- 
ing letter which we insert from the " Stradling Cor- 
respondence," as it is full of local interest: — 

*' To the r. wor. and my verie good cozen. Sir 

Edward Stradling, knight, 
*' With my best and most hartest conunenda- 
cions. Whereas I ame appointed by tiie 
Queene and the Councell forthewith to go 
to Ireland with the men out of South Wales, 
wch I doubt and feare I shall find exceedinge 
rawe, yet my only trust and hope is in you 
that you wilbe carefuU to helpe me to suche 
men as shaioe able of bodie, whereby the 
Queen may the beter be servid and I therbie 
may gett fame honestlie: and wthall that 
you will see them as well furnished as you 

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can wth her furniture, and if it be not verie 
good and sufficient, lettinge me have reason- 
able allowance with all speade possible I will 
provide you of the same ; also prainge you 
that they maie be well furnished in there 
apell, and that there cottes may be reed with 
a little lace of grene, yf they have not coattes 
readie made, for I would be verie loth to put 
the countrie to anie double charge ; and that 
I may be-adv'tised of the same at Pencoyd 
wth all speed posibl ; and that they may have 
some allowance of some convenient store of 
powder for to haive their shotte while theie 
are of this side the sea and on the sea in 
goinge, for some of our men have been spoiled 
allredie for lacke of the same. 

" Thus once againe prainge you to have care of 
the ablenes of the men, and if it be posible 
to helpe to some that hath served alreadie; 
besechinge you to consider some good allow- 
ance for your pte for my cunditt money, con- 
sideringe I am driven to care for me and my 
officers, the w'ch I am driven to come hence 
from London. 

" Thus committinge you to God. I take my 
leave. From the Oo'rt, this XVIIIth Sept., 

Yo'r lovinge assurr'd cozen, 

" Wyllyam Morgan." 

Wyllyam Morgan, the writer of the above letter, 
was the son of Sir Thomas Morgan, of Pencoed Castle 
in Monmouthshire, who married Cecil, daughter of 

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Sir George Herbert, Knight, of Swansea. He was 
knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 1674. 


Charles the First ascended the throne in the year 
1625. He soon landed himself in financial diffi- 
culties, and when Parliament refused to sanction cer- 
tain items of expenditure he devised illegal means 
for the raising of subsidies. Forced loans, illegal 
taxation, sales of public offices, and the conferment 
of hosts of titles were the accusations brought against 
Charles and Buckingham, his favourite, in less than 
twelve months after his accession. 

In 1628 the King made an effort to raise " ship- 
money " from the counties, and in the royal command 
which his secretary forwarded to the Sheriffs, 
Deputy-Lieutenants, and other chief officers in the 
counties, the impost is justified in the following 
terms: — 

" The great business of setting out ships, which 
used to be charged on the port towns, and 
neighbouring shires, is too heavy for them 
alone, therefore the Council have cast up ine 
whole charge of the fleet, and have divided it 
proportionately among the counties." 

The share allotted to Glamorgan was <£672. 
Whether this was collected or not we are unable 
to ascertain, but the Deputy-Lieutenant of the county 
pleaded that the people had been very much im- 
poverished in consequence of the extensive losses in- 

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Hided upon the trade of the channel by the pirates 
who frequents the coasts. 

Another assessment of shipmoney was made in 
1636. South Wales was expected to contribute 
£5,000, which was distributed as follows: — 

Glamorgan, £1,449. Brecknock, £933. 

Cardigan, £664. Caermarthen, £760. 

Pembroke, £713J. Radnor, £490J. 

Upon this occasion, marvellous to relate, hardly 
any objection was raised in any part of South Wales 
to the payment of this assessment, with the exception 
of the protest from Cardiganshire that they had been 
levied too heavily. There was an impression abroad 
when this assessment was made that the money so 
raised would be employed in the fitting out of a 
fleet of vessels for the protection of the seaboard 
against the attacks of the Moorish pirates, who were 
paralysing the commercial enterprise of South 

The "State Papers " of the year 1636 contain the 
record of a special commendation of the Sheriff of 
our county for his diligence in collecting the tax, 
and the people for their readiness in paying the same. 
The King commanded the Council to inform the 
SheriJBf of Glamorgan that His Majesty had taken 
" especial notice of his forwardness " in collecting 
the £1,449 charged upon the county. 

Encouraged by the readiness of the people in 
paying the impost of 1636, the King in October, 1636, 
made a similar assessment for an equal amount. 
Upon this occasion there was a huge outcry against 

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the tax, and instead of money being poured into the 
national exchequer, we learn of nothing but protests 
and threats meeting the collectors in everywhere in 
the county, and a manifest determination to evade 
payment. Two years later Charles again resorted to 
the same method of raising money, without calling 
Parliament together. But the trial of John Hampden 
had opened the eyes of the country to the irregularity 
of the taxation, for, notwithstanding the fact that 
eight of the judges had declared that shipmoney was 
a legal tax, yet the very fact that four of the judges 
had given judgment in favour of Hampden carried 
more force in the country than the finding of the 
eight. Henceforth the tax was everywhere resisted. 
Our county of Glamorgan upon this occasion 
stands among the most loyal to the King of all 
the counties. In a memorandum dated February 
16th, 1639, among the " State Papers," Secretary 
Nicholas has made the following entry : — 

** This week the Mayor of Doncaster has paid 
* £40, and Glamorganshire <£420. upon writ* 
issued in 1638. which is the first money I 
have heard of having been collected by virtue 
of these writs." 
Charles, like his father, endeavoured to enforce 
episcopacy upon Scotland. But the Scots were loth 
to be coerced into turning their back upon Presby- 
terianism, the faith of John Kriox, and the Protestant 
Reformation in Scotland. Consequently when old 
Jenny Geddes, in a fit of holy anger, hurled her 
three-legged stool at the head of the Bishop of Edin- 
burgh, in St. Giles* Kirk on Sunday, the 23rd July, 
1637, as soon as the words " Let us read the collect 

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of the day " had dropped from his lips that became 
the unexpected signal, and the whole of Scotland, 
in an incredibly short space of time was one seething 
mass of religious commotion. 

Charles was bent upon conquering the Scots; 
therefore a general levy was made upon the 
whole country for men and arms to be used 
in compelling them to accept Episcopacy. Wales 
was comprised in the general levy, and was expected 
to do her part. Her share in the levy was a maxi- 
mum of 1,310 men, distributed among the counties 
as follows: — 

Anglesey, 100. Glamorgan, 100. 

Brecon, 100. Merioneth, 50. 

Cardigan, 60. Monmouth, 150. 

Caermarthen, 100. Montgomery, 100. 

Carnarvon, 50. Pembroke, 150. 

Denbigh, 250. Radnor, 50. 
FUnt, 60. 

Nothing resulted from this preparation, except- 
ing the marching of the army to the Scottish bor- 
der, where the Scots had mustered in battle array 
to the extent of twenty thousand men. It is re- 
corded that the soldiers of both armies fraternised 
with each other in a friendly way, after which a 
treaty was arranged and agreed upon between the 
two countries at Berwick, on the 18th June, 1639. 
The King was convinced by 1641 that it was use- 
less quarrelling with the Scots as to the form of 
Church government, and, therefore, in disgust he 
is said to have relinquished all intention of thrust^ 
ing Episcopacy upon their conscience. 

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840 diLAMORQAN. 

For twelve years Charles had ruled the country 
without a Parliament, but on the 3rd of November, 
1640, it was summoned to assemble, and at once it 
set about the removal of an accumulation of 
grievances. Shipmoney was declared illegal. The 
Star Chamber was abolished. The High Commis- 
sion Court was done away with, and the Court of 
the Council of the Marches in Wales came to an 
end. Archbishop Laud and the Earl of Strafford 
were impeached and cast into the tower, to await 
the time of their trial. The parliamentary leaders 
in the Commons House were bent upon the de- 
struction of Strafford, and brought in what was 
called a " Bill of Attainder " against him. This 
Bill was carried into law by an overwhelming ma- 
jority. Several of the Welsh members of Parlia- 
ment, however, voted in the minority against the 
Bill. Among these we find the names of the follow- 
ing South Wales gentlemen: William Herbert, of 
Cogan Peel, Cardiff, the member for the Glamorgan 
Boroughs, and Herbert Price, the member for 

Matters came to a crisis between the King and 
Parliament in the year, 1642, and there was no 
means of escape except by a resort to the sword. 
The King appointed the Marquis of Hertford to 
be Lieut.-General for the Western Counties of Eng- 
land and South Wales. The Marquis was en- 
trusted with authority to command the Commis- 
sioners of Array for South Wales, to levy forces 
and to conduct and lead them " against all enemies, 
rebels, and traitors," in any of the Welsh counties. 
The large majority of the Welsh members were of 

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the King's party, atnd South Wales in general was , 
favourable to the Eoyalist cause. The Earl of Pem- 
broke, however, whose possessions and interests in 
Glamorganshire and Monmouthshire were very ex- 
tensive, was. a strenuous adherent of the Parlia- 
mentary cause. Consequently, his oastle at Cardiff,' 
together with all his other possessions in this county 
were seized for the King, by William Herbert, of 
the Friars, Cardiff, who was a staunch loyalist, 
and a cousin of the William Herbert, of Oogan 
Peel, the representative of the Glamorgan Boroughs 
in the Long Parliament. 

The AEarquis of Hertford, being pursued by the 
Parliumentarians under the Earl of Bedford, crossed 
over from Minehead to Cardiff in some coal ships. 
He,^ together with a large contingent of Eoyalists 
from the West of England, was gladly admitted to 
the castle, and he made Cardiff his headquarters 
for several succeeding weeks, carrying out his com- 
mission of levying men for the war which had 
already broken out. In these duties he was greatly 
aided by the Marquis of Worcester, of Eaglan 

At the indecisive Battle of Edgehill, fought on 
October 23rd, 1642, in which neither of the two 
parties could claim the victory, William Herbert, 
of Cogan Peel, was slain, and Sir Edward Strad- 
ling, of St. Donat's Castle, was made a prisoner by 
the Parliamentarians. 

On November 4th the Marquis of Hertford set 
forth from Cardiff with an army of Welsh Eoyalists, 
variously estimated at from seven to ten thousand 
men, to join the King at Oxford, where he had re- 

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tired after the Battle of Edgehill. Passing througk 
Monmouthshire the army of Glamorgan men entered 
Herefordshire, then, instead of proceeding to the city 
of Hereford, which was in the hands of the Parlia- 
mentarians, commanded by the Earl of Stamford, 
they turned southwards and crossed the Severn at 
Tewkesbury. The Earl of Stamford with 4,000 me» 
marched from Hereford to intercept them. He came 
upon the Glamorgan men at Tewkesbury Plain, and 
utterly defeated them with immense slaughter. Th« 
poor, half-armed Welshmen being decimated by th« 
two field-pieces of the Parliamentary force, took to 
ignominious flight. Lord Herbert, the son of the 
Marquis of Worcester, endeavoured to stem the tide 
of misfortune, but without avail, the day proving 
most disastrous to the Marquis of Hertford and the 
Glamorgan men. It was estimated that the losses of 
the Eoyalists alone in this conflict totalled 2.600 men 
slain and 1,200 prisoners. The remnant of the ariny 
then beat a hasty retreat; they crossed the Severn, 
and got back into South Wales to repair their losses, 
and to levy fresh recruits. 

In less than a fortnight the South Wales Eoyalists 
bad rallied sufficiently to assume the aggressive one© 
more. They marched northwards to attack the City 
♦f Hereford, to which the Earl of Stamford had re- 
tarned after his decisive victory at Tewkesbury- 
Hearing of the approach of the Eoyalists to the city, 
the Parliamentary commander marched forth td 
meet them, and boldly took the offensive. He suc- 
ceeded in repelling them, and drove them helter- 
skelter from the position which they had assumed, 
with the loss of 2,000 slain. Earl Stamford then 

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vacated Hereford, and retired with all his fores to 

Now commenced the unpleasant differences be- 
tween the Eoyalist leaders in South Wales, which 
necessitated the King sending Arthur Trevor to en- 
deavour to make up between them. Lord Herbert, as 
the son of the old Marquis of Worcester, having been 
of immense service in enlisting and mustering forces 
for the service of the King, was exceedingly desirous 
^f obtaining a commission in the Eoyalist army. 
The King hesitated to accede to his prayer, fearing 
the cry of " popery," and further, that the appoint- 
ment of a catholic to an important and responsible 
•command would bring upon him the execration of 
some of his best and most loyal supporters, who were 
etaunch protestants. It was, notwithstanding, diffi- 
cult for the King to ignore the request of Lord Her- 
bert, and refuse him a commission, seeing the splen- 
did offer made, and knowing that the old Marquis 
was recognised to be the richest nobleman of the 
period. Lord Herbert promised King Charles " not 
-only to secure the district from opposition and 
malignity of the other party, but before the Spring 
to raise such a strength of horse and foot, and to 
provide such an equipage to march with, that might 
reduce Gloucester, and be then added to the King's 
army, when he should be ready to take the field, 
and all this so much at his own charge." 

Notwithstanding the efforts of the King, and th« 
friendly offices of Arthur Trevor, it was found im- 
possible to make peace between the Marquis of Hert- 
ford and Lord Herbert. In February, 1643, we find 
it recorded that the former with his own forces left 

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344 / 6LAMORGAN. 

South Wales, and a commission was granted Lord 
Herbert as a last resort. But the new Lieutenant- 
General did not find his much-sought-after charge 
a pleasant one. The Welsh emphatically declared 
that they had rather perish, than submit to be cqm- 
.manded by a " Papist." So the House of Worcester 
found to its cost that the enlisting of volunteers for 
the Eoyalist service was no mere child's play, not- 
withstanding its great command of wealth. 

In July, 1643, the Eoyalists laid siege to Bristol, 
the metropolis of the West, and the stronghold of the 
Parliament. It surrendered without striking a blow 
in defence. In the Royalist army upon this occasion, 
there were several Glamorgan notabilities, holding 
important commissions. Among others there were 
Sir Edward Stradling. of St. Donates, Lieut.-Colonel 
John Stradling, and Colonel Herbert, probably of 
Cardiff. It is recorded in Warburton's "Prince 
Rupert " that the Welsh common soldiers numbered 
more than 6,000 men. 

Early in the year 1644, the parliamentary forces, 
under Major-General Laugharne, Moulton, and 
Swanlev had made such headway in South Wales, 
that the Royalists became seriously alarmed. It was 
evident that unless some strong and immediate mea- 
sures were taken, all the southern parts of the 
Principality would be lost to the King. Conse- 
quently, in the month of May, Colonel Charles Gerard 
was despatched by Prince Rupert with a regiment 
of horse and another of foot, to endeavour to win 
back for the King the districts already lost. Gerard 
is said to have landed at the Black Rock at Port- 
skewett, with, what one account calls " his Irish 

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and Popish forces." He then proceeded to Newport^ 
where he was informed that the Pembrokeshire men 
had traversed the whole length of South Wales, and 
had made conquests everywhere. He also 
learnt that a strong Parliamentary garrison had 
been placed at Cardiff, formerly the headquarters 
of the Royalists of the district. Without any hesi- 
tation Gerard laid siege to Cardiff, and succeeded in 
driving out the garrison. He then drove the Pern* 
brokeshire men out of Glamorgan, and back to their 
own country. 


the decisive battle of Naseby, fought on the 14th 
June, 1645, King Charles sought an asylum in South 
Wales. How well he was entertained at Eaglan, 
where he arrived on July 3rd, is now matter of his- 
tory. It is recorded that when he entered the portals 
of Raglan Castle, which ho had never visited before, 
he personally thanked the venerable Marquis of 
Worcester for his sacrifices of men and money, and 
for his unfailing and genuine loyalty to the Royal 
cause. The quaint old Marquis replied in his char- 
acteristic whole-hearted admiration, " Sire, I had 
your words for the money, but I never thought I 
should be so soon repaid ; for now you have given me 
thanks, I have all I looked for.** 

The night previous Charles had slept at Aber- 
gavenny, whilst the royal guards were quartered at 
the villages of Tregaer, Bryngwyn, Bettws, and 
Clytha. The King's intention in visiting Aber- 
gavenny was to meet the posse oomitatus, i.e., the 
Commissioners of Array for South Wales, to discusa 

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tke wherewithal for carrying on the war. and to 
enlist their sympathy. The Commissioners were, 
for the most part, gentlemen of the best quality and 
largest fortunes in the seven counties. All manifested 
the gireatest loyalty and affection for the Monarch, 
and, as recorded by Sir Edward Walker in his 
^* Historical Discourses," " they promised him moun- 
tains, but nothing came of their promises."- Never- 
theless, they did not fail to express to the King thoir 
disappointment and dissatisfaction with the severity 
of treatment which they had received from the 
hands of Colonel Gerard, and how he had alienated 
the sympathies of the Welsh people from the Royal 
cause by his inordinate harshness. 

After recruiting himself for a few days at Raglan 
Castle, Charles visited the town of Monmouth. We 
learn from an old print how joyfully the citizens of 
the county town received him and that they handed 
him on ** a pewter plate " a small contribution of 
thirty pounds sterling as a solatium towards the cost 
of the war. This visit of King Charles to Monmouth 
is permanently commemorated by a plaster medal- 
lion, affixed to the wall of the bar room of the King's 
Head Hotel, in that town, but the inscription bears 
no date. 

The King next made arrangements to go to Car- 
diff in order to meet the Commissioners of Array for 
South Wales. He set forth from Raglan on the 16th 
of July, accompanied by the Duke of Richmond, the 
Earls of Lindsay, Lichfield, and Kernwagh, Lords 
Digby, and Bellasis, with two troops of horse. He 
passed through Newport, where the garrison of fifty 
men, commanded by Colonel Richard, Lord Her- 

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bert, son of Lord Herbert of Cherbury, then resident 
at St. Julians, came forth from the castle to pay the 
King honour. His Majesty then proceeded to Trede- 
gar House, where he dined withSir William Morgan, 
and afterwards left for Cardiff. The " Iter Carolum " 
tells us that the King supped with the Governor of 
the town and castle (Sir Timothy Tyrrell), the ex- 
penses of which meal " being .defrayed at the 
country's charge." 

His Majesty's visit to Cardiff was not productiv* 
of any good results for the Eoyal cause, nor of com- 
fort or consolation for himself. The South Wales 
Commissioners had brought together a force of four 
thousand Glamorganshire men, but they were in no 
wise enamoured of the prospect to march to the re- 
lief of Hereford, as the King desired, nor did they 
intend to do so. They came together, it appears, 
rather to express to him certain grievances, in which 
they were supported by a few of the leading men 
»f the county, among whom were Sir John Aubrey, 
of Llantrithyd, Mr. Edward Came, of Ewenny, and 
Colonel Pritchard, of Llancaiach. In the records 
of this conference in his "Historical Discourses," Sir 
Edward Walker facetiously remarks: — "Like un- 
skilful magicians, we by this means raised such 
devils as we could never lay again." 

The disappointed King left Cardiff on the third 
day, i.e., the 19th of July, to return to Eaglan. He 
now slept a .night at Tredegar House, with Sir 
William Morgan, and resumed his journey the next 
day. At Raglan the King remained until the 25th 
of July, when he took up a short sojourn at Euperra 
Gastle, as the guest of Sir Philip Morgan, with the . 

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intention of being nearer to Cardiff to quell "the 
devils " which he had raised there, and in the county. 
On the 29th he again proceeded to Cardiff, accom- 
panied by the Duke of Eichmond, the Earls of Lind- 
say and Lichfield, and Lord Eernwagh, and the 
regiment of guards. The King is recorded to have 
again dined with the Governor, as upon the previous 
visit, but the " Iter Ciarolum " takes care to empha- 
sise " at our own charge." Whether this means that 
the county was getting tired of the King and his de- 
mands, and was determined to show it in small 
particulars, we are not in a position to record. 

Upon the arrival of His Majesty at Cardiff he 
found to his grief and dismay that there were loud 
clamourings of discontent among the masses of the 
people, that an immense concourse of them had 
assembled at St. Fagan's to discuss matters. The 
King consented to meet them at that place. Symond's 
Diary tells us that the gentry of the county were 
there in a body on horseback, whilst the people were 
drawn up in a kind of battle array at their rear, and 
winged with horse and a reserve. Colonel Gerard 
was there too, but his presence proved to be anything 
but a source of strength and conciliation. In a very 
short time Charles found that those who had for- 
merly been his most loyal and ardent supporters 
among the gentry and the Commissioners of Array,, 
were become cool, and to a certain extent alienated 
from him. One strong indication of this was the 
fearless and aggressive manner in which they ex- 
pressed their catalogue of complaints and grievances. 
They alleged that the King had imposed upon them 
a levy of £800 per month, and in less than a week 

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afterwards, Gerard had produced a Royal warrant 
imposing an additional levy of £1,600 per month. 
From such frequent impositions there had accumu- 
lated arrears amounting to £7.000, of which they 
demanded a remission. They demanded the removal 
of Sir Timothy Tj^'rrel from the Governorship of Ca?:- 
diflf Castle, and that the important office be given to 
a Welshman. With Gerard's harsh treatment still 
rankling in their bosoms, they demanded his in- 
stant removal from the command of the Royalist 
troops in South Wales. They further demanded that 
all papists should be sent out of the country; and 
that they should have the appointment of their own 

The King and his disaffected supporters of Gla- 
morgan separated that day without coming to any 
decision or agreement, His Majesty returning to 

A Royalist print of the period — The Mercurius 
Civicus, of August 28, 1645 — gives us the following 
interesting record of this St. Fagan's conference: — 
" The day following " (i.e., his arrival at Car- 
diff), "the King comes to them and desires 
to know the cause of their meeting. They 
answered for the preservation of their coun- 
try. The King said he was for that, too, and 
desired to know what they would ask further. 
They demanded first to have the Papists re- 
moved out of the country. Secondly, to have 
the English garrison removed out of Cardiff, 
and a governor and a garrison of their own 
put in. Thirdly, seven thousand pounds de- 
manded by Gerard remitted. 

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** The King answered fair, and said they should 
have all reasonable contentment. One stepped 
forth and said they haa not all promises per- 
formed that came from his Majesty, for they 
had a warrant under the Broad Seal for £800 
a month, and within a week Gerard showed 
them the King's own hand for £1,600 a 

" The King, seeing them talk so peremptorily,, 
desired to talk with the gentry. They 
minded the gentry, as they were going, not in 
any way to engage them without their con- 

" The King departs to Cardiff, and they con-^ 
tinue at their rendezvous till Saturday." 

Fearing for his personal safety, the King de- 
manded security to come and treat with them again 
the following day, or, as an alternative, that they 
should send representatives to him to discuss affairs. 
The latter choice was acted upon, the people 
appointed ten of the gentry and ten of the yeomen 
to act for them in the presence of the King and his 
Counsellors. When these left for Cardiff the whole 
assemblage then removed its camp to Cefnon, the 
high ridge between the Taff and the Rhymni, and 
about four miles from the town in those days. The- 
large company bivouacked on Cefnon until the end 
of the week. 

As a result of the conference Charles assented to 
all their demands, and the people separated to their 
respective homes satisfied for the time being. They 
agreed to furnish the King with 1,000 men and the- 

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sum of £800 to arm them. Gerard and his subordin- 
ate officers were instantly removed from their com- 
mands in South Wales, and Sir Joseph Astley wa& 
appointed in his place. Sir Timothy Tyrrel was re- 
moved from the Governorship of the town and castle 
of Cardiff, whilst the English garrison was relieved 
of its duties. Sir Richard Bassett, of Beaupre Castle, 
a Welshman, was appointed Governor in Tyrrel's 

On the 5th of August the King left Cardiff with a 
company of three thousand horsemen. He was 
also accompanied by his young son Prince Charles, 
who had come on from Raglan. They dined that 
day with Col. Pritchard of Llancaiach, and then 
proceeded from there to Brecon, where His Majesty 
and son slept the night at the Priory, the residence 
of Col. Herbert Price, the Governor of Brecon. 

When Charles left Cardiff it was upon the under- 
standing that a thousand recruits would immedi- 
ately be sent forward to join the other troops at 
Newport. But, no sooner had he departed than 
the recruits rebelled against their three commanding 
officers whom the King had left behind to lead them. 
They were assisted in their revolt by the 
townspeople. The three officers were hunted by an 
infuriated mob which compelled them to escape from 
the town to save their lives, leaving Sir Jacob 
Astley to exercise control over the recruits single- 
handed and to command them, but he found thera 
utterly intractable. 

The Royalists were now in sore distress, and were 
gradually giving up all hope of success. The 

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oommon people of South Wales were everywhere 
declaring for the Parliament. ** Even the County 
of Glamorgan," says the Mercurius Brittanicus, 
" where the Parliament was never wont to be named 
but in detestation, begins to clear up, and the greater 
part of the gentry declare for the Parliament." Sir 
Jacob Astley, writing from Cardiff to Prince Eupert 
at Bristol on the 11th of August, complained bitterly 
of the conduct of the inhabitants. " The County 
of Glamorgan is so unquiet as there is no good to 
be expected. Shall strive so far as I can to put 
things in order, which I despair of, because it is 
power to rule these people and not entreaties with 
cap in hand, to such as deserve the halter." He 
did strive, but without avail. 

On the 7th of September the King was back at 
Raglan, Hereford having been relieved in the mean- 
time. The next day he proceeded to Abergavenny 
to enquire into the conduct of some of the leading 
gentry of Monmouthshire, who had " proved chief 
hinderers to relieve Hereford." Five of the 
delinquents were brought before him, viz., Sir 
Trevor Williams of Llangibby who was the most 
equivocal. Sir William Morgan of Tredegar, Mr. 
Herbert of Coldbrook, a Mr. Baker, and another who 
is not named. The five gentlemen excused them- 
selves, Sir Trevor Williams with tears in his eyes 
protesting his innocence. The King taking a 
dejected view of the situation, committed four of 
them to temporary imprisonment, but released 
Trevor Williams on bail. 

When the King returned to Eaglan and recounted 
to the old Marquis particulars of the transactions of 

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that day, and his own conduct of the affairs, the 
shrewd old man of the world is said to have 
exclaimed, *' Well, Sir, you may chance to get the 
Kingdom of Heaven by such doings, but if you ever 
get the Kingdom of England by such ways, I will 
be your bondsman." 

On the 15th of September Charles left Eaglan, 
never to return there again. He had spent a most 
anxious three months in South Wales, wandering • 
here and there, in his endeavour to remove the dis- 
affection which had broken out amongst his erst- 
while friends and partisans. During those few 
months his efforts in raising fresh troops among the 
Cymry of the South Wales counties met with but 
Bcant success. ** Many cruel days," to use his own 
words, did he spend marching from early morning 
until late at night without, food and without the 
ordinary home comforts. He saw that his stay at 
Eaglan was becoming a burden to every one, and 
upon his departure he remarked to the faithful old 
Marquis that his going was in order "to ease his 
lordship of a great burden." 

WALES. — In ten days after the departure of the 
King from Raglan, the Glamorganshire men 
declared themselves for the Parliament. They then 
made an attack upon the towii and castle of Cardiff, 
which offered a very poor defence under its Royalist 
Governor, Sir Richard Bassett. The castle and 
town were easily captured, and the Governor and 
his Welsh garrison of 200 men were permitted to 


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inarch out. Colonel Herbert of Coldbrook then 
took possession of the castle. He found therein six- 
teen pieces of ordnance, ten barrels of gunpowder, 
four hundred arms, and a good store of bullet, 
ammunition, and provisions. 

In the western parts of South Wales, Major-Grem. 
Laughame had been so active that the whole of 
South Wales was now practically secured for the 
Parliament. Ever3rthing had been lost to the King 
excepting Aberystwyth, Raglan, and Chepstow 

Colonel Pritchard of Llancaiach became Governor 
of Cardiff Castle vice Sir Richard Bassett; Colonel 
Philip Jones was made Governor of Swansea Castle, 
Whilst Bussey Mansel received the appointment of 
Commander-in-Chief in Glamorganshire. 

At the commencement of the year 1646, Raglan 
alone in South Wales displayed any activity on 
behalf of King Charles. That strong fortress in 
the heart of Gwent was a kind of centre of attrac- 
tion for Royalists from all parts of the western 
counties, and tiither they went in large companies, 
until the force under the venerable Marquis of 
Worcester had become of such a threatening 
strength that Parliament was beginning to be 
seriously concerned. At Cardiff there lingered a 
subdued residuum of Royalist feeling and sympathy, 
and as a result of secret communications with 
Raglan, the great array at the latter place consented 
to make an assault upon the town and castle. A 
move was made from Raglan before the end of 
January. The castles of Oaerlleon, Pencoed, and 

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NewpoiHj were emptied of their Parliamentary gar- 
risons, the occupants having been scared into seeking 
temporary shelter in the farmhouses and cottages on 
the moors of Caldicot and Wentloog. Captain John 
Crowther, the Admiral in command of the entrance 
to King Eoad, Bristol, wrote the Speaker of the 
House of Commons, that the enemy had defeated 
the Parliamentary forces in Monmouthshire, and 
seeing that the town of Cardiff was in want of 
ammunition, he had sent some there fearing for the 
security of the place. 

In the early days of February the Royalist force 
from Eaglan drew near to Cardiff. The Parlia- 
mentary Committee of the county was called 
together, and a consultation with Col. Pritchard, the 
Governor, took place. It was immediately resolved 
that the High Sheriff, Col. Edward Carne of 
Ewenny, be empowered to take steps to call together 
all the available Parliamentary forces of the 
county. This he faithfully did, but no sooner had 
he performed this part of his duties, than from some 
unknown cause, he revolted from his obedience to 
Parliament, and persuaded large numbers to do like- 
wise. It is difficult to understand the sudden and 
unforeseen change of front of Col. Carne, when we 
consider the prominent part taken by him previously 
in aiding in the reduction of the county for the 
Parliament. He was the leading man among the 
gentry who had taken steps to invite Major GenL 
Laugharne to enter Glamorganshire. Phillips in 
his ^* Civil War in the Marches " remarks: — 

** Whether he was disappointed or not at hav- 
ing only the shrievalty bestowed upon him 

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while Mr. Bussey Mansel was appointed 
Commander-in-Chief of Glamorgan, and 
Colonel Pritchard was made Governor of 
Cardiff, and Col. Philip Jones was made 
Governor of Swansea, I have no means of 
ascertaining. Some such disappointment 
alone can account for such instability." 
On the 6th of February, the Eaglan forces under 
Sir Charles Kemeys were joined by those of Col. 
Came of Ewenny, making a combination of three 
thousand fighting men. They made an assault 
upon the town of Cardiff and compelled Colonel 
Pritchard with his three hundred garrison, supple- 
mented by his " well affected supporters " of the 
citizens to take refuge in the castle. The Eoyalists 
summoned the gallant governor to surrender, but he 
refused, being determined to hold out to the last. 
The news of the critical state of affairs at Cardiff 
was quickly carried to all parts of the country. 
Captain Crowther found it necessary to come over 
from King's Eoad to afford relief to the besieged. 
He succeeded in landing a few seamen, who unfor- 
tunately became shut up in the castle with the 
garrison. Day after day Crowther sailed up to the 
town and fired upon it with his six large ordnance 
guns. He made use of his vessels to the best 
advantage with a view to encourage the garrison to 
hold out. A sally from the castle was made, but 
half the garrison were taken prisoners. The 
remainder, however, courageously held out for 
iknother twelve days when they were relieved. This 
relief came from various directions. Major General 
Laugharne arrived from Aberystwyth where he had 

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been laying siege to the castle. Colonel Morgan, 
the Governor of Gloucester, arrived from Chepstow, 
accompanied by Sir Trevor Williams and Colonel 

"When the relieving forces were within striking 
distance of Cardiff,* the Eoyalists commanded b}" 
Colonels Kemeys and Came were of necessity com- 
pelled to act on the defensive. Thus, the tables 
were turned in an unexpected manner. They, there- 
fore retired and formed in battle array on the Heath, 
a little to the north-east of the town. Here they 
were vigorously attacked by Colonel Morgan, who 
drove them back into the town, killing many and 
making a large number of them prisoners. Major 
General Laugharne quickly followed and made the 
victory completie. Finding further resistance 
useless the Eoyalists surrendered and made terms 
with the Parliamentary leaders. These were, that 
they were to leave the town on the 20th of February, 
and march out with all the honours of war, viz., 
colours flying, drums beating, matches lighted, &c. 
The terms of the surrender were so far carried out 
that the Royal forces were allowed to march out of 
the town unmolested, '* but having marched a pretty 
distance from the town, either by some misunder- 
standing or dishonourable conduct, a breach of th« 
articles was alleged," and they were followed and 
attacked by Laugharne's dragoons. Four hundred 
of them were killed 'or drowned, and upwards of 
five hundred taken prisoners, among whom were 
Colonel Carne and Sir Charles Kemeys. 

Laugharne in his letter of 21st February, 1646, 
to the Speaker (Sir W. Lenthall) states that two 

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hundred af the enemy were slain, and eight hundred 
were taken prisoners, as also a large store of arms, 
bag, and baggage. The news of this success was 
read in the House of Commons on the 28th February, 
and the messenger, Moore Pye, who conveyed the 
information from Cardiff to the Speaker, was voted 
the sum of £20 as a reward. 

On March 13th, Major-General Laugharne was 
appointed Commander-in-Chief of the forces in 
Glamorgan, as well as of the three western counties 
of South "Wales. He was voted the sum of £1,000 
out of the excise to pay his forces. Parliament re- 
warded him " and his heirs " with a delinquent's 
estate in his native county of Pembrokeshire, " for 
the singular good service now and formerly per- 
formed by him most faithfully for the King and 

With the fall of Eaglan Castle on the 19th of 
August, 1646, all opposition to Parliament in South 
Wales was overcome. Not a garrison remained to 
the King in one of the seven counties. Restraints 
upon the gentry were gradually removed, with the 
permanence of the continuance of peace, and matters 
were in a fair way of being permanently settled by 
their obedience to Parliament. 

The two great parties in the House, the 
Presbyterians and the Independents, after their 
subjugation of the whole country, commenced 
to quarrel among themselves. The former 
desired to disband the army, but the latter 
objected most strongly to such a proceeding. During 
the several months* which transpired whilst thesfe 

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distractions and amenities were indulged in by tlio 
two parties in the House, a number of local gentry 
availed themselves of the turmoil in the affairs of the 
State to renew hostilities in Glamorganshire in 
favour of the King. The leaders who planned this 
fresh rising were Sir Richard Bassett, Sir Ed\\ard 
Thomas, Sir Thomas Nott, Sir Charles Kemeys, and 
the Stradlings. They invited the yeomanry of the 
county to meet at Cowbridge, in June, 1647. The 
invitation was responded to by about one thousand 
Glamorganshire men. 

In an old pamphlet, which was published at thai 
time, and entitled" A declaration of the proceedings 
of IJivers Knights and other Gentlemen in Gla- 
morganshire, who declare for the King and Sir 
Thomas Fairfax." we learn that these disaffected 
gentry, with their thousand volunteers from among 
the yeomanry, marched from Cowbridge to Llandaff, 
which they made their headquarters. They sent a 
demand to Colonel Pritchard, the Governor of 
Cardiff, to surrender the town and Castle, which he 
refused to do. 

The disaffected gentry, under Major-General 
Stradling, made several attempts to take the Castle 
of Cardiff, but without avail. The siege was raised 
in a few days by the appearance of Major-General 
Laugharne and a troop of horse, who scattered the 
malcontents, and caused their supporters, who had 
now been augmented to about two thousand fighting 
men, to desert their leaders. 

• In the following year (1648), a more serious rising 
took place in South Wales, in which the faithful and 

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consistent Parliamentarian soldier, Major-Qeneral 
Laugharne, was drawn to the Royalist side. Claren- 
don states that Laugharne had taken offence because 
Parliament, as he thought, showed less confidence in 
him than in Colonel Mytton, and that in the dis- 
tribution of rewards he had not been honoured com- 
mensurate with his deserts and services. The dis- 
affection made rapid progress. Other prominent 
officers, who had at all times co-operated with Laugh, 
ame in his various expeditions, now threw in their 
lot with him, and among them were Colonels Poyer 
and Eice Powell. These officers had been the main- 
stay of the Parliament cause in South Wales in it& 
darkest times. It was at once found necessary to 
cease disbanding the troops in South Wales in view 
of the seriousness of the outlook. Sir Thomas Fair- 
fax sent Colonel Horton to assist the local forces in 
suppressing this fresh outbreak. It was, however, 
realised by Parliament, in \iew of the threatening 
aspect of affairs, that an ** iron hand " was required 
to bring about a solution of matters in South Wales. 
Consequently on the 1st of May, we find Cromwell 
himself setting out with his regiments of Ironsides, 
five in all, being two of horse, i.e., . his own and 
CoJonelThornhaugh's, and three of foot, those of 
Colonels Pride, Ewer, and Dean. 

An old record states that " the Royalists of Gla- 
morgan had offered to pay £1,300 a month to Major- 
General Laugharne for his army ; their rising being 
only to get rid of the servile yoke of the Committee.**^ 
Laugharne, with his usual thoroughness, proceeded 
with his army of 8,000 fighting men, mainly 
collected in Pembroke and Caerniarthen, and aug- 

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mented by recruits on his march eastward into Gla- 

BATTLE OF ST. PAGANS. - Before Crom- 
well had reached Wales with his regiments 
of Ironsides, Colonel Horton had arrived in 
the neighbourhood of Cardiff with his force, intend- 
ing to proceed down west to meet Laugharne. On 
the 4th May, Horton encamped at St. Fagans, on the 
banks of the Ely. Laugharne at the head of his force 
had already advanced to St. Nicholas, intending to 
bivouac at St. Fagans also. The two forces were 
thus barely three miles from each other. The next 
day Laugharne withdrew from St. Nicholas, and 
took up a position five miles further to the south-west 
at Penmark, Llancarvan, and Fonmon ; he remained 
ftt this place during the whole of the next day. On 
the third day, however, which was a Sunday, he 
returned to St. Nicholas, and busied himself through- 
out the night in making preparations for the coming 
fight. This was a sure sign that a conflict was in- 
evitable. Horton's force of 3,000 men during these 
three days remained encamped at St. Fagans, 
strengthening its position. 

On Monday, the 8th of May, at eight o'clock in the 
morning, hostilities commenced. For the first two 
hours the conflict was most severe, both sides con- 
testing every inch of ground with the most dogged 
pertinacity. Horton's force was victorious at every 
point, and the slaughter of the rebel force was 
appalling. Such was the dreadful carnage that local 
tradition proclaims "that the waters of the river 
Ely were red with blood on the day of the battle." 

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The battle is said to have given sixty-five widows 
to the parish of St. Fagans alone, and upwards of 
seven hundred widows to the whole county of Gla- 
morgan. Over 3,000 prisoners were taken, 300 horses 
were captured, and all the ammunition was seized, 
so that Laughame's army of 8,000 men was practi- 
cally annihilated. Some fifty of his officers were 
slain, and among them was his brother, Lieutenant- 
Colonel Thomas Laughame. The remnant of the 
army of the west made its way with unhesitating 
speed to Pembroke and Tenby, leaving Colonel Hor- 
ton complete master of the situation in the county. 

The battle of St. Fagans had utterly demoralised 
the Royalists in South Wales, so that Cromwell and 
his Ironsides met with but trivial opposition in their 
progress through the county. He arrived at Mon- 
mouth on the 10th of May, and there was informed' 
of Colonel Horton's brilliant victory of two dayi 
before. On the 11th of May he proceeded to Chep- 
itow, which since its surrender in October, 1645, had 
been the seat of the Parliamentary Committee for 
the county of Monmouth. But a few days prior to 
the advent of Cromwell into South Wales, the town 
and castle had been surprised and captured by Sir 
Nicholas Kemeys, of Llanf air Discoed, in Monmouth- 
shire, and Cefn Mably, in Glamorganshire. Sir 
Nicholas was the Colonel of a regiment of horse in 
the King's service. He was joined in this escapade, 
and probably instigated to it, by the equivocal Sir 
Trevor Williams, of Llangibby, once again a sup- 
porter of the Eoyal cause. 

Cromwell purposed taking Chepstow by storm. 
He was successful in capturing the town but the 

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''.astle withstood every assault that he made. Being 
desirous of losing no time in proceeding into the 
heart of South "Wales, he left Colonel Ewer in charge 
of operations, with instructions to lay siege to the 
castle, and to send for heavy ordnance from Glou- 
cester. Cromwell pushed forward through Newport 
and reached Cardiff on the IBth of May. Finding 
nothing to call for serious attention at the county 
town, he proceeded to Swansea, where he was the 
guest of his old friend, Sir Philip Jones, the Gov- 
ernor. He then continued his journey to Caermar- 
then, and there deviated a little before continuing 
his march to Pembroke, to pay a surprise visit to 
Golden Grove, with the intention of capturing the 
irrepressible Royalist, the Earl of Carbery. The Earl 
found a way of making himself scarce, and eluded 
the great general, who is said to have accepted the 
invitation of Lady Carbery to dine with her and 
the family at the mansion. On the 24th of May he 
was encamped before Pembroke. 

Chepstow Castle withstood the assaults of Colonel 
Ewer up to the 28th of May. A breach had been 
made in the walls on the 2Bth, but old Sir Nicholas 
Kemeys refused to yield unless he and his men were 
allowed to march out of the castle. Ewer would not 
grant this ; he further stated that he should have no 
TDetter terms than submit to mercy. Kemeys swore 
that he would not submit to such an offer. His 
soldiers thereupon deserted him; Ewer rushed in, 
^nd took possession of the castle. In the fray Sir 
J»Jicholas Kemeys fell. Prisoners to the number of 
120 were taken. Among them were Lewis of St. 

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Pierre, and other local gentry, who were mem-- 
bers of prominent Monmouthshire families. 

What Cromwell had to endure on these marches 
in South Wales is strikingly described in the numer- 
ous sources of correspondence of this particular 
period. TKey tell us that the common people were 
indisposed to render any assistance to the great 
general, and indeed in several instances proved 
thoroughly antagonistic to the Parliament and its 
military officers. In one chronicle we read: — 

** Wherever the Parliamentary forces appeared, 
the people quitted their homes, taking with 
them whatever they could, and driving before 
them their cattle to seek refuge in the woods 
and mountains. The smiths everywhere dis- 
appeared, having previously cut their bellows,, 
pulled down their smithies, and made all 
their materials unserviceable, so that there 
was neither a horse-shoe to be had, nor a place 
to make it, if you offered forty shillings to 
have a horse shod." 

Cromwell himself wrote: — 

" The country since we sat down before this 

' place (Pembroke) have made two or three 
insurrections, and are ready to do it every 
day, so that with looking to them, and dis- 
posing of our horse to that end, and to get us- 
in provisions, without which we would starve, 
this country being so miserably exhausted 
and poor, and we having no money to buy 
victuals. Indeed, whatever may be thought, 
it is a mercy we have been able to keep our 

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men together in the midst of such necessity, 
the sustenance of the foot for tJtie most part 
being but bread and water." 
With the fall of Pembroke, Cromwell brought to 
an end the purpose of his visit to South Wales. The 
county of Glamorgan settled down to repair the 
damage which had been done in its homes through 
the terrible visitation of the Great Civil War, when 
friend was pitted against friend, and families be- 
came enemies to one another, who had previously 
been on the best of terms for generations unknown. 
During the time of the Commonwealth the adminis- 
trative affairs of the county were entrusted to the 
Parliament's leading supporters, men who had been 
faithful and true to the cause of the people through- 
out the whole course of the war. 


In less than a hundred years from the close of the 
Great Civil War, we arrive at the dawn of the in- 
dustrial era, a period which has no parallel in the 
whole history of the country. And there is no county 
in the British Islands which has added more to the 
marvellous developments of the nationalities of these 
islands than the county of Glamorgan. Here have 
been the great coal and iron kings, some of whom 
were native to the soil, others were drawn hither and 
made it their home of adoption. They erected their 
palatial mansions among the people, who cheerfully 
toiled and laboured for them, in search of the wealth 
secreted in the treasure-coffers of its hills and deep 
valleys. Ably supporting them we have had the 
merchant princes of its great ports, who have their 

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fleets of capacious trading vesels floating on the 
bosom of the vast ocean, and conveying the incom- 
parable smokeless steam coal, to the leading ports 
of the great nations of the world. 

This industrial era has seen every one of 
its picturesque valleys, rich in elysian glades 
and woody covers, become busy hives of un- 
paralleled industry, with teeming multitudes 
Instead of the Norman barons with their des- 
cendants, living in the security of the great fortified 
castles and castellated mansions, with their host of 
feudal retainers obsequiously subservient to them, 
there have arisen the patriotic yeoman, and 
the thrifty husbandman, as free and independent in 
their hard-earned liberties as the air they breathe, 
and exercising the rights and privileges which have 
been conferred upon them by a constitutional and 
democratic government. There has arisen a 
powerful, middle-class community, prosperous, 
contented, and assertive, comparing favourably with 
any similar class in any part of the United King- 
dom. There has also arisen a law-abiding, wage- 
earning class, sturdy and strong in character, proud 
of its history and its victories in the domain of 
labour, but true to its religious convictions, and 
priding itself in the handsome, sacred edifices which 
it has erected by purely voluntary effort in the midst 
of its populous village-towns. 

How marvellous this development has been is ably 
expressed by Mr. 0. M. Edwards, in his volume of 
the " Story of the Nations " series. He says : — 

" The cause of so great and so rapid a change is 

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a very definite one. It is the rise of the great 
industries. Wales had been a pastoral coun- 
try. The Cistercian monk had discovered the . 
value of its mountain sides as sheep^ runs ; to 
the mediaeval poet the wealth of Glamorgan 
was in its cornland, and its glory in its prim- 
roses. The population increased rapidly ; the 
distance between the landowner and the 
farmers and labourers, who lay so thickly on 
his land, was continually widening 

The effects of the industrial era are apparent 
everywhere. By the mountain dingles, and 
on the edges of the moorlands ruined cottages 
peep out of a wilderness of ash and willow, 
ODd flowers run wild, and the solitude 
deepens every year, in glens once full of chil- 
dren, who were born heirs to health and con- 
tented poverty From every part 

of Wales the peasant trudges to the valleys 
among the Glamorgan and Monmouth hills, 
oi to the great seaports on the South Wales 
coast, all teeming with people. Coal and steel 
and tinplate, of world-wide reputation, have 
given energy to the labour once bestowed in- 
dolently on peat and sheep and homespun. 
While the population of the central shires 
is stationary and declining, that of Glamor- 
gan and Monmouth has increased five-fold 
within sixty years. From Newport to Swan- 
sea the Severn Sea is covered with ships carry- 
ing to all parts of the world the wealth of 
the inexhaustible mines in the mountains. 
' Trained by their self-education in religious 

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and literary matters, enfranchised when the 
new wealth gave them political independence, 
the Welsh people were peculiarly adapted for 
local government. In no part of the king- 
dom have the local councils^— the County 
Council, established in 1888, and the Dis- 
trict Council and Parish Council, established 
by the Local Government Act of 1894 — been 
so welcome and so active." 


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When the Normans under Sir Eobert Fitzhainon 
made themselves masters of the best parts of 
Glamorgan, one of the first things thej'- did was to 
erect strongholds in the form of castles in command- 
ing and advantageous situations to protect the lands 
which they had forcibly taken from the Welsli 
Princes. Nearly all of the castles of Glamorgan are 
of Norman origin, and at the present time there are 
the ruins or remains of more than thirty of these 
structures, if those of the Gower peninsula be in- 
cluded. It must not be forgotten that the Gower 
peninsula did not form a constituent part of Mor- 
ganwg until the 16th century. 

In Saxon times there was no difference in law 
between land and other property; but after the 
Norman Conquest land alone was thought worthy 
of consideration. Complete ownership by indivi- 
duals was abolished, and tenures were introduced, 
the King alone being the complete owndr. ilo 
granted the land to his barons on condition of their 
performing certain services. The Baron being a 
Duke, a Marquis, or a Count swore fealty to the 
King as his suzerain lord ; the Knight acknowledged' 
the baron as his liege lord; and the vassals swore 
foalty to the Knight. 

With the progress of the Conquest in Glamorgan 
iis already shown, Fitzhamon divided the county- 
between his companion Knights. They immediately 


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set about the erection of strong fortresses upon the 
allotted territory which fell to each, - This was • 
privilegiB which they enjoyed as well as the great 
barons. They built their castles for the protection 
of their families, and for the safeguarding of their 
personal interests. 

The following description of the castles is given in 
alphabetical order and not in the order of their 

BAERY CASTLE Vide topography of Barry. 

BEAUPRE CASTLE is situated about a mile 
to the south of the town of Cowbridge, and on the 
east bank of the river Daw or Ddawen. The origin 
of the name Beau-pre (fair meadow) is thought to 
be on account of its delightful prospect in the Vale 
of Glamorgan. Its Welsh designation is Maes Essyllt. 
This was one of the reputed abodes of the Sitsyllt 
family, a family of famous Welsh princes of the 
pre-Norman era, from whom it is thought are 
descended the noble family of the Cecils, Marquises 
of Exeter and Salisbury. 

Llewelyn ab Sitsyllt married the grand-daughter 
of Hywel Dda, the great Welsh law-giver of the 
tenth century ; and became King of the territory of 
Deheubarth in virtue of his marriage rights in the 
year 1016 a.d. Llewelyn is said to have held his 
court frequently at Beaupre. The lordship of Maes 
Essyllt continued in the possession of this princely 
line until the reign of Henry II., when it was pur- 
chased by Sir Philip Bassett of St. Hilary, Lord 
Chief Justice of England, who was a descendant of 
Sir Thirstone de Bassett, grand falconer to William 
the Conqueror. 

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The castle was partly destroyed in 1316 a.d., by 
Llewelyn Bren of Senghenydd, but it has the appear- 
ance of having been rebuilt after that. It is famed 
for its specimens of beautiful Greek architecture, of 
the Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian styles. These are 
said to have been executed by a skilful Welsh handi- 
craftsman named Eichard Twrch, circa 1B86. Twrcb 
had travelled much abroad on the continent of 
Europe. He was familiar with Paris, Florence, 
and Kome, and upon his return home he was 
requisitioned by Sir Eobert Bassett, temp Queen 
Elizabeth, the then owner of the castle, who was 
making structural alterations in the old edifice, to 
beautify portions of it according to the styles which 
he had seen in his travels. This he did, as the date 
1600 over the grand portal bears record. This 
artistic porch stands within the courtyard, and is 
said to have been erected in commemoration of the 
healing of an old feud between two families by. a 

CAEEPHILLY CASTLE.— Vide topography of 

CAEDIFF CASTLE. — Vide topography of 

COITY CASTLE, situated about ten miles from 
the town of Bridgend, takes us back to a period 
perhaps anterior to the Norman Conquest of Glamor- 
gan. Its present surroundings belie its name 
Coed-ty, " wood house " or ** house in the wood," for 
it stands on a conspicuous eminence devoid of trees. 
There is no reliable history of the structure nor of 
the demesnes previous to Norman times, but the 

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hereditary lord of Coity at that particular time was 
tjie Cjonric chieftain, Morgan ab Meurig, whose 
daughter Assar or Sara became the wife of Pain 
Turberville, one of Fitzhamon's Knights, in a 
romantic fashion, as shown in the History section of 
this work. 


The lolo M.S.S. tell us that Pain Turberville was 
succeeded as lord of the manor of Coity, by a long 
line of direct descendants. Sir Richard, the ninth 
in succession, and surnamed Le Diable, had no male 
issue; he therefore, settled the lordship on his 
nephew, Sir Laurence BerkroUes, the son of. his 
sister Katharine who was married to Sir Roger 
BerkroUes, Lord of St. Athan. Sir Laurence 
became related by marriage to the Despenseris,' his 
wife being the daughter of the younger Despenser 
of Caerphilly Castle. She is credited with keeping 
up the bad repute of her family, for it is said that 

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she " poisoned her husband, so that he died." For 
this disreputable and infamous act she was brought 
to trial before the Chief Lord, Sir Eichard Begam, 
Lord of Glamorgan^ and found guilty. He sen- 
tenced her to death, and as an old repord expresses 
it, " She ^'^as buried alive, agreeably to the sentence 
pronounce(^ upon her by the country and the chief 
lord SSir Richard Begam." 

The possession of the castle passed afterwards to 
Sir William Gamage of Roggiett in Monmouthshire, 
who had married Assar, the iourth daughter of Sir 
Pain Turberville, the third of that name, circa 1325 
A.p. In the lolo MSS. we find the following quaint 
and curious record of the alienation of the 
lordship: — 

'* And now, as the possessions had thrice 
descended by distaff, i.e., by the right of a 
daughter, the royal lordship of Coetty became 
alienated, and went as escheat of Sir Richard 
Begam, as the law required. But although 
property may, prerogative cannot descend 
bipyond three times successively by distaff, 
hence the King is now lord of the Court of 
Coetty, and is supreme governor of the county 
halls of justice ; but the Gamages are the lords 
of the land, and to them appertain the pos- 
sessions and manorial supremacy of the 
The Castle and laiids afterwards passed through 
niiie ^descents of the Gamages, the last being 
Barbara, Who married Sir Robert Sydney circa 1584, 
a brothei* of the accomplished statesman and soldier 
of the time of Elizabeth — Sir Philip Sydney. Sir 

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Robert was the first Earl of Leicester of the Sydney 
line. Barbara Gamage (Countess of Leicester) wa« 
the grandmother of the famous Algernon Sydney, 
whose father, Sir Robert Sydney of Coity, was th« 
second Earl of Leicester. 

The Castle of Coity was the only one in the county 
which successfully resisted the assaults of the 
intrepid Welsh leader, Owain Gljnidwr, in the year 
1404, when nearly every castle in Glamorgan was 
laid low. Upon that occasion it was defended by 
the last of the Berkrolles. 

In later times the castle with its demesnes 
devolved upon the Wyndham family, and finally by 
marriage to the Dunraven family, in whose posses- 
sion it now remains. 

CASTELL COCH occupies a commanding 
situation in the valley of the TafF, about five miles 
north of Cardiff, and three miles over the Fforest 
Fawr ridge from Caerphilly. It occupies the 
southern aspect of a high and precipitous limestone 
ridge under which nestles the little village of Ffynon 
Taf. The summit of this " Fforest Castell Coch 
ridge," as it is sometimes called, commands a glori- 
ous prospect of the level tract of rich lands from 
the borders of Gwent along the coast to near 
Nash Point and the icastle of St. Donat's, whilst the 
Bristol Channel and the Somersetshire coasts spread 
out in a panoramic view as far as the eye can see. 
The Castle takes its name from the colour of the 
stone of which it is or was built, which were 
quarried from the Red dolomite of the Radyr bed. 

The original first structure was thought to have 

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been a British fortress, erected, as generally thought, 
to guard the country against the intermittent in- 
roads and ravages of the Danish rovers at a period 
anterior to the advent of the Normans. Its 
prominent situation enabled tfie Cjnnry to view the 
fleets of the *' black pagans " as they sailed or rowed 
up the Severn estuary, and to give timely warning 
to the denizens of the low-lying lands of the " Vale." 


The beacon fires would be lit on the top of the 
Fforest, and also on the summit of the Garth right 
opposite. These signals would be the call-to-arms 
of the dwellers in the mountainous districts in the 
north of the country, and in the adjoining territory 
of Garth Madryn as Brecknock was then called. 
The various chieftains would then assemble their 
followers to drive the sea-pirates from their shores. 

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Across the 'Hprth-east side of the structure there 
appears to have been dug a huge trench or ditch. 
In parts this was hewn out of the solid rock, and 
was undoubtedly a great protection and defence to 
the original fortress from attacks in the direction of 

When the Normans had made themselves masters 
of the level country of Morganwg from the Usk to 
the Nedd, they found it necessary, in order to pro- 
tect their conquered or acquired territory from the 
ravages or inroads of the Welsh, to capture some 
of the commanding mountain fortresses which over- 
looked their acquisitions. They are supposed to 
have either strengthened the former existing 
fortresses, or to have erected new ones in close proxi- 
mity to them. Of such are Castell Coch, Llantrisant, 
and Coity Castles. 

When William, the second earl of Gloucester, was 
lord of Glamorgan, there resided at Castell Coch one 
Ivor bach, lord of Senghenydd, who held his land in 
fief from the Norman Baron. Ivor possessed suflR- 
cient independence of spirit to resist the unlawful 
encroachments of his liege lord upon his heritage. 
In 1153 A.D., he attacked the Castle of Cardiff, and 
carried away the Earl of Gloucester, his wife, and 
enly son to Castell Coch, holding them there as 
prisoners until his grievances were remedied, and 
his demands were complied with. 

The Castle of which the present edifice is a restora- 
tion, was considered to be of a later date than that 
«f Ivor Bach's time. The structure, as we see it 
to-day, has been beautifully restored by the late 

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Marquess of Bute, in the possession of whose family 
it has been for the past three generations. Tie late- 
Dord Bute commenced to repair and explore the old 
ruins early in 1871. Its restoration has been on the 
lines of mediasval ideas. In the room of the tower 
there was discovered a deep ^'ell, full of charred 
timber, which had probably lain there for centuries, 
and was evidently the effects of a great conflagra- 
tion. It is generally agreed that the castle was never 
restored until now, after its destruction by Owain 
Glyndwr, in 1404. 

DINAS POWIS CASTLE is only a ruined pile, 
with four of its walls in situ. It is supposed to have 
been erected by lestyn ab Gwrgant, the last prince 
of Morgan wg. He named the castle in honour of his 
wife Denis, who was the daughter of Bleddyn ab 
Cynfyn, Prince of Powys. After the conquest the 
castle and the demesnes were given to Sir Eeginald 
de Sully, one of the twelve knights. It eventually 
passed into the hands of the Somery's Barons of 

Leland has given us the following description 
©f the structure as seen by him: — "The castel of 
Dinas Powis stondith on a little Hille within a stone- 
caste of the Broke on the west side. This castelle 
is al in Ruine and longith to the King." 

DUNEAVEN CASTLE occupies the summit of 
a rocky eminence, 100 feet high, which projects into 
the sea by a point known as Trwyn y Witch, and 
standing three miles from the mouth of the Ogwr 
river. Trwyn y Witch, or the " Witches point," is 
famous in traditionary lore as being the supposed 

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spot where a notorious owner of Dunraven, known 
as "Mat of the Iron Hand," played pranks, and 
watched wrecks, which he had been the means of 
accomplishing, in the long ago, when he captured 
the spoils. It is a modem structure, but is supposed 
to occupy the site of an ancient British fortress. 
The Welsh annals record with some pride that there 
was a royal stronghold here when the Romans 
landed, and that this was the residence of Bran, the 


son of Lear. There are, however, no authentic 
records to corroborate such assumptions. The 
ancient designation of the place is Dindryf an, which 
some derive as a corruption from Din-dwr-hafren, 
*' the fortress of the Severn water." 

After the conquest of Glamorgan, Dunraven fell 
to the share of William de Londres, together with 
the lordship of Ogmore. When De Londres invaded 
the territories of Gower and Kidwelly in 1094 a.d., 
the Welsh of Coity district, under Pain Turber- 

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ville, made an attack upon the De Londres demesnet 
in the Ogwr valley. It was so bravely and skill- 
fully defended by Arnold Butler, or Botteler, one 
of his lieutenants that the Welsh were unable to 
capture it, William de Londres did not return from 
his campaign in the west of the county, but having 
been successful in his first venture, he pushed for- 
ward into Caermarthenshire, and won for himself 
the lordship of Kidwelly. De Londres was anxious 
to shake off his obligations to the conqueror of Gla- 
morgan, as one of his retainers. So bj^ his conquest* 
in Gower and Kidwelly he secured two independent 
lordships which were subject only to the Eing. The 
Castle of Dunraven with the accompanying demesnes 
was made over and conferred upon the faithful lieu- 
tenant Arnold Butler. In the Brut appears this 
record: — " William de Londres, Lord of Ogwr, won 
the lordships of Cydweli and Carnwyllion from the 
Welsh, and gave the castle and manor of Dunraven 
to his servant Sir Arnold Butler." 

The castle and its demesnes remained in the 
possession of the Butler family for many generations, 
i.e., from the eleventh to the fourteenth century. 
Then in the female line it passed by marriage to 
the Vaughans of Bredwardine and Tretower in Bre- 
oonshire. The property remained in the Vaughan 
family for three generations. The last of the 
Vaughans, Sir Richard, having lost his three sons 
by drowning, sold the estate in 1642 to Humphry 
Wyndham, a gentleman in the male descent of Irish 
lineage. Wyndham married a Welsh lady, viz., 
Jane Carne. of Ewenny, whose descendants are the 
Earls of Dunraven, of our generation. 

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structures which were erected by Sir Roger Berk- 
roUes after having been granted the lordship of St. 
Athan, as his reward for knightly services at the 
time of the Conquest. They are situated aboujt 
three or four miles to the east of Llantwit Major^ 
and are supposed to have been built in order to 
guard two very celebrated orchards, hence the name 
There is an old tradition which states that Ivor Bach 
of Senghenydd destroyed the west orchard. It 
is upon record that Henry the First when passing 
through South Wales in the year 1171 a.d., visited 
these orchards, and was greatly struck with their 
arrangement and production. After that visit we 
are told that the royal table was always supplied 
with fruit from these orchards. 

East Orchard Castle is famed for the incognito 
visit paid it by tlie versatile Owain Glyndwr in 1406^ 
A.D., disguised as a Frenchman, previously referred to. 

The castles came into the possession of the Strad- 
Kngs of St. Donat's by marriage in 1411 a.d., and 
they remained the property of that family until the 
year 1738 a.d., when they were taken possession of by 
Sir Bussey Mansel and occasioned a long and weari- 
some legal dispute. 

FONMON CASTLE stands on the Cenfon brook, 
at a distance of two miles from the shore, and about 
an equal distance from the villages of Penmark and 
Aberthaw. The Castle was erected by Sir Oliver 
St. John, one of the Fitzhamon knights, who 
received as his share of the lands of Glamorgan, the 
lordship of Fonmon. His descendants occupied the 

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castle and its demesnes until the close of the reign 
of Edward IV., i.e., until about the year 1480 a.d. 
Sir John St. John, the lord of the manor of Fonmon, 
was the uncle of Henry VII., being his mother's 
brother. Sir John inherited in his mother's — ^Mar- 
garet Beauchamp — right the lordship of Bletsoe, in 
Bedfordshire, whither he removed. A descendant 
of his, Sir Oliver St. John, was raised to the peerage 
by Queen Elizabeth in 1559 a.d., under the title of 
Baron St. John of Bletsoe. 


In 1616 A.D., the castle with all its demesnes was 
bought by Colonel Philip Jones, M.P., of the Great 
Civil War f amie. He was also Governor of Swansea 
during the Commonwealth and brother-in-law of the 
Protector,01iver Cromwell, who made him comptrol- 
ler of his household, and one of the Lords of the 
Council- The present proprietor is a descendant of 
the bosom friend of Cromwell, and like his predeces- 
sor in the ownership bear& the name *' Oliver," In 

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honour of the relationship which existed between 
the Lord Protector and their ancestor. The fine 
•riginal portrait of Oliver Cromwell which hangs in 
the banquetting hall at Fonmon is acknowledged to 
be the best ever made of the great statesman^ 

The present structure is of great extent, and is in 
a splendid state of preservation, being still used as 
a habitation, but it has been very much modernised. 

HENSOL CASTLE is a handsome structure of the 
castellated kind, situated some three miles to the 
north-east of Ystradowen. It, however, does not 
date back to Norman times as a structure, like most 
©f the Glamorganshire castles. Its claim to fame 
rests upon its association with a remarkable man 
viz., Judge Jenkins of Hensol. 

Judge David Jenkins of the western circuit of 
Wales lived in the time of the Great Civil War. He 
was a person of great strength of character, but 
somewhat eccentric in conduct, being designated by 
his contemporaries '' Pillar of the Law " and " Heart 
of Oak." Jenkins was a staunch royalist, and took 
a very active part on behalf of the King. In 1646 
he was made prisoner at Hereford by the Parlia- 
mentary Army and sent to the Tower. When 
brought to the Bar of the House of Commons, he 
point blank refused to kneel as a token of respect 
to the dignity of the Honourable House, and was 
consequently fined to the extent of one thousand 
pounds for such contempt. When he was im- 
peached for high treason, the impetuous Welshman 
exclaimed that he would '* die with the Bible under 
one arm, and the Magna Charta under the other. "^ 

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He was, however, pardoned and set at liberty ia 
1656, and four years later, at the Eestoration, wa» 
permitted to return to Hensol, where he died in 1664. 
He was buried at Cowbridge. 

His son and heir, Eichard Jenkins, died in 1721 
without issue. The estates of Hensol then passed to 
his sister, the wife of Lord Chancellor Talbot, Baron 
Hensol. Their son succeeded to the title and the 
estates, and was created Earl Talbot of Hensol in 
1761, and Baron Dynevor in 1780, by his marriage 
to the heiress of Lord Dynevor, in Caermarthenshire. 
The mansion of Hensol was considerably enlarged 
by Earl Talbot. Two new wings with turrets were 
erected, making it in appearance more of a castel- 
lated mansion. It then passed by purchase to 
Samuel Eichardson, Esq., who sold it to Dr. Ben- 
jamin Hall, Chancellor of the Diocese of Llandaff. 
and father of Sir Benjamin Hall, afterwards Lord 
Llanover, who resided here up to 1823. Since then 
it has been the residence of several of the coal and 
iron kings of Glamorgan, viz., the Crawshay's and 
the Fothergill's. Eowland Fothergill died here in 

KENFIG CASTLE (vide topography of Kenfig). 

LLANTEISANT CASTLE (vide topography of 

LLANGYNWYD CASTLE (vide topography of 

MOELAIS CASTLE (vide topography of Merthyr 

NEATH CASTLE (vide topography of Neatti|. 

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38i QLAMORQAN ' 1^ 

NEWCASTLE (vide topography of Bridgend^ 

OGMORE CASTLE as it is now designated was 
originally known as Castell Aberogwr. It is situ- 
ated at the junction of the Ewenny and the Ogwr 
rivers, and at a distance of about three miles to the 
south of the town of Bridgend. There are but verv 
insignificant remains of this ancient structure in 
SITU to-day. The old keep, in a ruinous condition, is 
the only part standing. It has been assumed that 
there was some kind of a stronghold here before the 
coming of the Normans, for we gather from the 
Brut that Fitzhamon gave to William de Londres 
^' the lordship of Aberogwr, and the lands thereto 
belonging." Therefore, it seems probable that De 
Londres strengthened the then existing structure, 
and erected the keep, which is of the early Norman 
style of architecture, for private apartments of his 
wife and children. 

Upon the death of William de Londres, the castle 
and lordship passed to his son, Maurice, who left no 
male issue. His daughter, who was therefore heiress 
to the property, had married Sir Richard Syward, 
to whom Fitzhamon had granted the lordship of 
Talyfan and Merthyr Mawr. Consequently the 
lordship of Ogmore passed to the Syward family. 
Their daughter became the wife of Henry, Earl of 
Lancaster, whose son was created Duke of Lancaster. 
Hence the castle and lordship were subsequently 
annexed to the Duchy of Lancaster. 

OLDCASTLE (vide topography of Bridgend). 

PENLLIN CASTLE lies some two miles to the 
north-west of ttie town of Cowbridge. Its con- 

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struction dates bacK: to Norman times, to the period 
of Eobert Consul the first Earl of Gloucester, in the 
twelfth century. It is saiu to have been erected 
by a Norman settler, named Sir Robert Norris, who 
was Vice Comes, or sheriff, of the lordship of 
Olamorgan, under the Earl of Gloucester. The 
Norris family remained in residence at Penllin for 
several generations, until the castle passed to the 
Tubervilles by marriage. It was demolished by 
Owain Glyndwr in August, 1410 a.d., and subse- 
quent to this was nevor restored 

PENMAEK CASTLE is situated in the hundred 
■of Dinas Powis, about ten miles to the south-west of 
Cardiff. It was built by Sir Gilbert de Humfreville, 
who was rewarded with the lordship of Penmark, 
or to give it its full designation, Penmarch Howell. 
The castle and demesnes remained in the possession 
of this family, heirs male, until the reign of Edward 
the Third, when the lineage became extinct. The 
property then reverted to Sir John St. John of Fon- 
mon Castle. 

PETEESTONE CASTLE stands in close proxi- 
mity to the South Wales Great Western Railway in 
the village of Peterstone-super-Ely, and about six 
miles to the west of Cardiff. In tne distribution of 
Olamorgan lands, Fitzhamon granted the territory 
in which this old structure is situated, to Sir Peter 
le Sore, and it has been thought that the castle was 
erected about the year 1100 a.d. Authorities tell up 
that the parish has been named after this old Nor- 
man knight, because befora the coming of the con- 
queror *t was designated Llaneinydd. The " Cambro 


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British Saints " tells us that Rhys ab Einydd, a 
Welsh prince, erected a Christian Church here in 
memory of his father Einydd. 

The manor and lordship of Peterstone continued 
in the lineage of Le Sore until the time of Henry IV. 
In 1402 the castle was destroyed bv Owain Glyndwr, 
who. it is said, came into collision with Sir Mayo le 
Sore. The latter was decapitated by the Welsh 
Chieftain, as the Cymric annals record, " Owen cut 
off his head." In Peterstone there is an old tradi- 
tion that the big skull, longipreserved in the parish 
church, was the skull of Sir Mayo le Sore. 

Sir Mayo was a contemporary of the famous bard 
of Ivor Hael, viz., Dafydd ab Gwilym. Upon one 
occasion, as the bard journeyed through the Vale, 
he is said to have come late at night to the residence 
of Sir Mayo, whether to Peterstone or St. Fagans is 
not recorded. He was heartily welcomed as usual, 
because he was so well known. During the con- 
versation which followed one of Sir Mayo's attend- 
ants is supposed to have twitted the poet that he 
failed to arrive at a respectable hour, because of his 
slavish subserviency to his patron, Ivor Hael of 
Maesaleg. He, however, wished him to remember 
that the bottom of one of Sir Mayo's cups was better 
than all the cups of Ivor. The Bard is reported 
to have humorously replied, ** I know not that, as 
I have never yet seen the bottom of a cup of Ivor's." 
He capped this by adding: — 

"Dewr ft digni yw Iror, '; 

SaoB yw Syr Mathe le Sor." 
"Bold and witty is my Ivor, 
' But ft Qtaoo. is Sir Matfae Spre." 

Subsequent to the time of Sir Mayo le Sore the 

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castle and demesnes became crown property in con- 
sequence of the failure of heirs, but in 1630 a.d. it 
was granted to Sir John Aubrey. 

ST. DONAT'S CASTLE is a hoary and romantic 
pile standing in solitary grandeur on a rocky eleva- 
tion of the coast near Nash Point. It is about two 
miles to the south-west of Llantwit Major. St. 
Donates is one of the few Norman castles of 


Glamorgan which has never been left untenanted 
since its foundation. It was first erected by Sir 
William le Esterling or Stradling. His descendants 
continued in possession of the demesnes for nearly 
seven hundred years, i.e., until the year 1783 a.d. 
Some authorities tell us that a British fortress stood 
here prior to the edifice of the Stradlings. There 
was a manor of Llanddunwyd or Llanwerydd before 
the Conquest, for this was the territory granted ifO 

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William le Esterling at " the service due from one 
knight's fee." There are old Welsh traditions 
which attribute to St. Donates and Dunraven the 
honour of being the residence of Caradog, of Boman 
fame, i.e., the Caratacus of early history, and that 
he is supposed to have died in this neighbourhood 
in the year 91 a.d. It may be possible that one 
Caradog has been taken for the other, for it is n 
well-known fact that Caradog ab Ehydderch ab 
lestyn occupied a castle at Dunraven. 

The structure as we see it to-day, in the opinion 
of Mr. G. T. Clark, is an erection of the fifteenth 
century, with several additional wings made to it 
in the sixteenth. A square tower on the south-west 
is known as Lady Anne's tower. It is said that 
the Queen of that name paid the castle a visit as 
a guest of one of the Stradlings of the eighteenth 
century. On the high bank on the opposite side of 
the deep ravine or dell are the ruins of the celebrated 
Watch Tower, which played so important a part in 
the time of the Tudor and Stuart sovereigns, as 
testified by the Stradling correspondence, when the 
Bristol Channel was infested by pirates of many 

Deep below the castle walls in a woody ravine 
which opens out into the Channel is the little parish 
church of Llanddunwyd, dedicated by the Normans 
to St. Donatus, the patron saint of shipwrecked 
mariners, the burial place of the Stradlings of many 
generations. In the churchyard there stands one 
of the most perfect examples of a very ancient 
Norman cross, on a calvary of three steps. The 
tall and slender shaft is surmounted by a carved 

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representation of the Crucifixion. This is one of 
the few crosses that escaped mutilation during the 
Civil war. There it stands in a fairly perfect con- 
dition after the lapse of about eight hundred years. 

The founder of the family, Sir William le Ester- 
ling, held in addition to the manor of St. Donat's 
the manors of Eogerstone and Tregwillim, in Gwent. 
A descendant of his, Sir Harry Stradling, was 
kidnapped by the famous Breton pirate Colyn 
Dolphin circa 1480 a.d., and was not released until 
the ransom of 2,200 marks, or about £1,400 of our 
money, had been paid. In order to raise such a 
huge sum of money for that time it was necessary 
to sell the manors of Sutton in Glamorgan, Bassal- 
leg, Eogerstone, and Tregwillim in Gwent, and two 
manors in Oxfordshire. Mri G. T. Clark states 
that the curious old Watch Tower was built by this 
Sir Harry, whether before his capture or afterwards 
is not specified. 

In the Stradling pedigree it is stated in the fourth 
generation that, '' Sir Robert Stradling married one 
Hawisia, a daughter of Sir Hugh Brin, Kt., whose 
mother was the lawful Welsh heiress, upon failure 
of male issue, to the castle and manor of St. Donat's 
(in Welsh, Llanddunwyd) " ; and that ** by this 
marriage the Stradlings acquired a rightful title 
Vy just heirship to the estate" and successively con- 
tinued to enrol their names as Welshmen and warm 
patrons of Welsh literature." 

The Stradlings of the time of the Tudors 
and Stuarts were by no means indifferent 
to the history and antiquities of their native 

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country. They collected a good library at 
St. Donat's which was said to rival the great 
library at Raglan Castle collected by Williani 
Herbert, the first Earl of Pembroke. In a letter 
from James Blount, Lord Mountjoy, to Sir Edward 
Stradling, Kt., the ablest and most eminent of the 
fa)Dily, we have the following interesting reference 
to some book which had been promised: — 

" To the right worshipful, and my very loving 
friend Sir Edward Stradling, Kt., 

Yf you might conveniently in a letter surely 
sealed convey the coppye of the booke you 
promised me to Mr. Wm. Game's house I 
have left order that one Butler, a man of 
myne, dwelling in Radcliffe Strate (Bristol) 
where Mr. Game's howse allso ys, shall sat 
the same most safely conveyed to me. And 
I trust before hytt be longe, I shall eyther 
send you some of these new cronikles or other 
booke that shall also like you. And thus I 
most hartely bid you farewell. 
From Newporte this last day of August 1677. 
Your very lovinge friend, 
^" James, Mountjoye." 

Books in the year 1677 could have been only the 
privilege . of the wealthy. Printing was in its 
infancy ; perhaps a hundred years had elapsed since 
Gaxlon set up his printing press in Westminster 
Abbey. There were not more than half-a-dozen 
pointing presses in the whole country outside of 

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London. The only printed books yet issued were 
Fox's Book of Martyrs, Holinshed's Chronicles, 
Chaucer, and some volumes of the classics. The 
News chronicles which were first issued in the reign 
of Elizabeth, were written on sheets, of paper by 
men who spent their time in collecting the news and 
gOiSSjp of the day, and distributing them to persons 
prepared and willing to pay for them. It was not 
till 1622 that printed news-sheets were put in 

Si Edward Stradling's collection of manuscripts 
at St. Donat's ranked among the largest and most 
valuable in the country. Anthony Wood in his 
'* Athenae Oxoniensis '' says of him. that having 
received his education at the University of Oxford 
he travelled 

** in various countries, spent some time at Rome, 
returned an accomplished gentleman, and re- 
tiring to his inheritance which was large, 
built a firm structure on that foundation of 
literature he had laid at Oxford, and else- 
where . . was at the charge of such 

herculean works for the public good, that no 
man in his time went beyond him for his sin- 
gular knowledge in the British language and 
antiquities, for his eminent encouragement 
of learning and antiquity, all which with 
other books, were reduced into a well-ordered 
library at St. Donats, to the great credit and 

. renown of the family. He writ a Welsh 
Grammar mostly in Latin. He wrote also the 
conquest of the lordship of Glamorgan with 

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other pieces and paid his last debt 

to nature 15th May, 1609." 

The " Welsh Grammar mostly in Latin " referred 
to in the above excerpt would in all likelihood be 
tlie Latin-Welsh Grammar of Dr. Shon Dafydd 
Rhys, a protege of the Stradling family. The cost 
of publishing this Grammar, the ** Cambro-brytan- 
nicae Cymracae Linguae, 1592," was borne by his 
patron. Sir Edward Stradling. 

Dr. John David Ehys was born in the year 1634,. 
and at a very early age was taken under the protec- 
tion of Sir Edward Stradling. He was educated 
Rt Christ church College, Oxford, of which he was 
elected' a Fellow in 1555. He subsequently pro- 
ceeded to Italy at the expense of Sir Edward and 
as tutor to his son. He studied medicine at the 
University of Sienna, and there took his degree as 
a physician. He was so thoroughly conversant 
with the Italian language that he was appointed 
Moderator in the School of Pistoia, in Tuscany, and 
left behind him a treatise on the orthography and 
pronunciation of that language. He died at Breck- 
nock about the year 1609. He wrote several works 
in Latin, Italian, and Welsh; he was admitted to 
have been a man of great learning, and an ornament 
to his age. 

In the tim6 of Charles the First, Archbishop 
Usher retired to the seclusion of St. Donat's Castle 
when the great Civil War raged. It is recorded 
that he collected there the materials for his great 
work " The Antiquities of the British Church." 
His association with St. Donat's was brought about 

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by his daughter having married one of the- 

Another great man associated with this famous 
old castle is Nicholas Breakspear, who was 
befriended by the Stradling family when he was a 
poor wandering priest. He subsequently became 
Pope of Eome as Adrian IV., the only Englishman 
who has ever sat in the Chair of St. Peter. 

The castle and estates passed in 1738 to Bussey, 
Lord Mansel, upon the death of Sir Thomas Strad- 
ling, who was unmarried. Bussey, Lord Mansel^ 
was permitted to occupy them for the term of hi& 
life. Upon the death of Lord Mansel the estates be- 
came the subject of extraordinary litigation, until 
Parliament intervened, and divided them into four 
portions, under the following arrangement: — (1) St. 
Uonat's and Sully were granted to Sir John Tyrwhit^ 
Bart., " by virtue of a deed entered into between Sir 
Thomas and Sir John during their travels in foreign 
countries." (2) Merthyr Mawr and Monk Nash were 
allotted to Hugh Bowen, of Kittle Hill, grandson, on 
the mother's side, of Sir Edward Stradling. (3) 
Penlline, Lamphey, and Cwmhawey in Somerset,, 
fell to Louisa Barbara Mansel, " by virtue of a deed 
made by Sir Thomas Stradling to his first cousin,- 
the said Bussey Mansel, afterwards Lord Mansel.'' 
(4) St. Athan's estate was sold to pay the lawyersJ^ 
The restoration of this castle, as we at present see- 
it, is due to Dr. Nicholl-Carne, who spent a fortune- 
in accomplishing it. He was so attached to it and 
its connection with the Stradlings, that by letters- 
patent he assumed the name of Stradling-Carne. The 
castle and estates have been recently bou|]jht by Mr, 

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Morgan Williams, J.P., formerly of Aberpergwm, 
^ho married a granddaughter of the late Lady Llan- 
over. He is at the present time doing all that wealth 
•can do to revive the ancient prestige of the castle. 

ST. GEORGE'S CASTLE is situated midway be- 
tween St. Fagans and Peterstone-super-Ely. Its out- 
ward appearance shows it to have been a formidable 
Norman structure, but to-day it is an absolute ruin. 
This was the castle of the manors of St. Greorge, Wen- 
voe, Plemingston, and Llanmaes, the territorv be- 
-stowed upon Sir John le Fleming, one of Fitzhamon's 

In 1315 A.D., the castle was fiercely attacked by 
Llewelyn Bren, of Senghenydd, who succeeded in 
partly demolishing it. Lleweljni was seized shortly 
after his attack upon this castle by Sir William 
Fleming, and executed upon his condemnation as 
High Sheriff of Glamorgan. In 1321 Fleming was 
arraigned by the Queen's party, condemned and exe- 
•cuted at Cardiff, for having unjustly *' condemned 
Llewelyn Bren to death." He was buried in the 
cemetery of the Grey Friars, " outside the north gate 
of the town of Cardiff." 

The Manor and lordship of St. George continued 
in the possession of the Fleming family until the 
year 1400 a.d., when through the failure of male 
issue, it passed by marriage to Edmund Malifant, of 
Pembrokeshire. The castle was destroyed by Owain 
Glyndwr in 1405 a.d., but we do not find that it 
was ever restored after that to its former strength. 
It continued in the possession of the Malifant family 
until the reign of Henry VII., when it became the 
property of John Butler, of Dunraven Castle. 

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ST. FAGAN'S CASTLE. It is not known who 
■erected the original structure Some authorities tell 
us that it was Peter de Vale, whilst others credit 
Peter le Sore with having done so. In the sixteenth 
oentury a gentleman of the name of Dr. Gibbon built 
a handsome mansion within the ruined walls of the 
ancient Norman edifice. It afterwards became the 
property of the Lewis's of the Van. near Caerphilly, 
and by marriage it passed into the hands of the 
Windsor family. 


The lordship of St. Fagan's was in the possession 
of Sir Peter le Sore's family until the time of Henry 
IV, when the line ceased. It then went to the Veale's 
or Vale's, and remainod in that family ** until Alice 
Veale, the heiress, married one David Mathew, who 
had four daughters, between whom the lordships of. 
St. Fagan's and Llysworney were divided." The 
jsame authority states that Alexander le Sore and 

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Henry le Sore were witnesses to old deeds to the eflect 
that Peter le Veal was Lord of St. Fagan's. This 
was at a time when no dates were used. 

ST QUINTIN CASTLE, otherwise known as Llan- 
bleiddan Castle, stands on the high ridge forming 
the eastern watershed of the river Daw or Ddawen, 
and about a mile south-west of the town of Cow- 
bridge. The castle was built by Sir Robert de St 
Quintin, who became possessed of the lordship of 
Llanbleiddian at the Conquest. Sir Robert was a 
native of Picardy, in France, the chief town of which 
was St. Quintin, from which he is supposed to have 
derived his name. The only remains standing to- 
day are portions of the eastern gateway walls, which 
stamp it as a citadel of immense strength and extent. 
The width of the old gateway appears to have been 
about twelve feet. 

Soon after its erection the castle was vigorously 
attacked upon several occasions by the native 
Cymry, because of the refusal of Sir Robert to restore 
to them their lands as frank pledge according to the 
custom of the other Normans of Glamorgan. 

Sir Edward Mansel in his work tells us that Sir 
Robert St. Quintin built the Castle of Llanbleiddian 
three times, and at the last time made it much 
smaller than what it had been made before, for the 
reason as he said that " men with strong hearts he 
wanted, for he had fouiid castles with strong walls 
of no service against the Welsh ; for he had builded 
the castle very large and strongly walled two 
times, and it was beaten to pieces by the Welsh of 
the mountains." 

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It remained in the possession of the St. Quintin 
family until the reign of Henry III., when the name 
ceased through the failure of male issue. It passed 
by marriage to Sir William Parr, Knight, whose 
descendants were the Marquises of Northampton. 
The daughter of Sir William Parr, temp. Henry 
VIII., was the Catherine Parr who became the sixth 
and last wife of that much-married monarch. 

Through another daughter, Anne, the estates 
passed by marriage to the Herberts, Earls of Pem- 
broke and Lords of Glamorgan, which then 
descended to the Bute family, of Cardiff Castle. 

Near to the Castle of St. Quintin is the Tymawr, 
the home of John Bruce-Pryce, Esq., the father of 
the first Lord Aberdare. 

In the life of John Stirling by the great savant, 
Thomas Carlyle, there is an interesting reference to 
a residence in this neighbourhood where John Stir- 
ling's father lived. It is the house with a verandah 
on the hill leading to Llanbleiddian Church. In 
this house John Stirling was bom. Captain Stir- 
ling was a retired army officer on half -pay, and he 
came here to " idle his time away economically '' 
after having tried many little schemes for increasing . 
his scanty income. The Peninsular War was being 
waged at the time, and the disgraceful conduct of 
the JGovernment of the time in its treatment of the 
army under Wellington had roused the country to 
the utmost indignation. Stirling, as a military man,, 
criticised the Government in scathing terms. He 
sent his MS. to the London " Times." It was 
accepted by the Editor and inserted in that paper 

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as the opinions of the paper itself, without 

Carlyle tells us how John and his father went day 
after day to the top of Llanbleiddian hill to watch 
for the appearance of the London Mail over the brow 
of Stallingdown, in anticipation of the momentou& 
reply from Printing House Square. Judge of the 
rejoicing of father and son when the letter appeared 
as the Editor's opinion in the columns of the great 
paper. These were the first, thunders of the power- 
ful ** Times," and it is interesting to remember that 
they were generated in the quiet solitudes and peace- 
ful retirement of this old castle of St. Quintin. 

Captain Stirling for many years after this (181 2> 
was engaged as chief writer to the great journaL 
his powerful thunderings very materially aiding to 
raise it, to. the highest position in the newspaper 

SULLY CASTLE is situated near the sea coast, 
between Cardiff and Barry. It was erected by Sir 
Eeginald de Sully, who became at the Conquest lord 
of the manor bearing his name. The descendants 
of De Sully were in possession of the demesnes until 
the reign of Edward I., when they passed by mar- 
riage to Sir Thos. de Avan, lord of Avan, a direct 
descendant of lestyn ab Qwrgant. His grandson 
left an only daughter as heiress, who married Sir 
Wtn. Blunt. Blunt exchanged the lordships of 
Avan and Sully for lands of Gilbert de Clate in 
England. It afterwards, in the fourteenth century, 
passed to the Despensers. Owain Glyndwr utterly 
destroyed the castle in 1406, and it does not appear 

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to have been ever restored afterwards. The manor 
and lands were purchased by Sir Josiah John Quest 
in the last century, and are now in the possession 
of Lord Wimtcrne. 

SWANSEA CASTLE. — Vide topography of 

TALYFAN CASTLE is now an irreparable ruin, 
standing a little distance to the south of Ystrad' 
Owen. The lordship of the same name is contigu- 
ous to that of Meisgyn or Miskin, and was given at 
the Conquest to one Sir Eobert Syward. The name- 
Syward bears the impress of being other than 
Norman, and may have been of Saxon origin, for, 
analysed into its component parts it resolves itself 
into Se-weard, which means seaiwatchman. We 
may reasonably conclude that Fitzhamon had sev- 
eral prominent Englishmen in his train, as he had 
of Welshmen, who were opposed to lestyn ab Gwr- 
gant. In addition to the lordship of Talyfan it is 
upon record that Syward held baronial rights over 
the ** ancient burgh of Pontfaen " (Cowbridge). 

The castle is supposed to have occupied the site of 
a Cymric fortress, the heritage of Owen ap Morgan 
Hen, Prince of Morganwg. The name of this prince- 
is perpetuated in the designation of the \illage close 

The castle and lordship is supposed to have con- 
tinued in the possession of the male lineage of the 
Syward family until the reign of Edward III, when, 
according to the Stradling correspondence it was 
either sold or taken possession of by Despenser, the 
then Lord of Glamorgan. The heir of the Syward 

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family at that time is thought to have removed to 
property which he possessed in the county of 
Somerset. In 1410 a.d. Owain Glyndwr demolished 
the structure, and it does not appear to have ever 
been restored after that. 

WENVOE CASTLE. — The present castellated 
mansion of this name is a comparatively recent erec- 
tion, as the age of castles go. It was built by Peter 
Birt, Esq., who purchased it in 1789 or thereabout, 
from a son of Sir Edmund Thomas, Bart., of Wenvoe 
Castle, M.P. for Wiltshire in 1769. Sir Edmund's 
ancestors had lived at Wenvoe from about the close 
of the fifteenth century. The present representa- 
tives of the Thomas family live at The Plas, Ching- 
ford, Essex, and they bear the arms of the Welsh 
family, Thomas of Wenvoe. In olden times there 
were two Norman castles of considerable strength 
situated in the parish of Wenvoe ; they were respec- 
tively called by the names of Wrinstone and Wenvoe. 
Both structures are thought to have been erected by 
Sir John le Fleming about the close of the eleventh 
century. Tney remained in the family of the Flem- 
ings until the reign of Henry IV., when they passed 
to the Herberts, of Swansea. 

After the destruction of these structures by Owain 
Glyndwr they were never restored, but a single tower 
has been left to each. These were noticed and 
described by Leland in 1640. At that time they 
were Crown property. 

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The GowiBr Peninsula, anciently known as Qwyr, 
formed originally part of the principality of Deheu- 
barth, the territory ruled by Hywel Dda and his 
descendants. It did not form a constituent part of 
Glamorgan until the 16th century. Previous to 
that time the river Tawe was the western limit of 
Morganwg. In ancient Welsh records we find that 
Gwyr with Cydweli and Carnwyllion constituted the 
three commotesof Cantref Eginawg in Deheubarth. 
Gwyr is often mentioned in the Brut and Annales 
Cambriae as being devastated by the Welsh princes. 
William Rufus made a grant of the territory of 
Gwyr to 'Henry de Beaumont, Earl of Warwick. 
He conquered it by force of arms about the year 
1097, and built therein several strong castles in com- 
manding and advantageous positions. The first 
which he built was probably Swansea. 

Subsequent to the first settlement bj^ the Normans, 
the peninsula was devastated upon several occa- 
sions by the leading Welsh princes. It is not likely 
that the " Lord Rhys," i.e.. Prince Rhys ab Qruif j^^dd 
of Dinefawr, the greatest thorn in the flesh, and the 
most formidable foe of the Normans in South Wales, 
would have left Gower with its Norman and Flemish 
settlers in undisturbed possession. Under date 1189 
A.D., the Annales Camb: states that: — 

** Rhys, son of Gruffydd, carried on a war in 
South Wales, gave Rhos and Pembroke to the 
flames, plundered Gouhir, destroyed the castle 
of Carnwillion, and took other castles in 


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In 1216 A.D., Llewelyn ab lorwerth, surnamed 
" the Great," of Gwynedd, in his victorious progress 
through South Wales is thus described in the 
Annales: — 

. . ** Llewelyn, Prince of Wales, moved a great 
army into Gower, and on the first attack took 
the Castle of Swansea ; thence along with his 
confederate generals, Maelgwyn, Ehys the 
Less, the sons of Gruffydd, and others, he 
went to Ehos." 

Llewelyn ab Gruffydd, the last Prince of Wales, 
in 1257 paid some attention to Gower. The Annales 
records that: — 

" With a mighty army he came to Cydweli, 
Carnwyllion, and Gohir, burnt the English 
portion of these territories and Abertawy; 
but all the Welsh of the same regions he made 
his subjects, and before Easter returned with 
rejoicing to his own country." 

Thus Gower appears to have been a favourite 
fighting cockpit of the Welsh Princes in their wars 
with the aggressive Norman and Flemish settlers. 
It is, therefore, not surprising that the territory has 
been so well studded with Norman strongholds, 
which to-day are only picturesque ruins. Taking 
the south coast region from Swansea, and proceed- 
ing in the direction of Worms Head, the most west- 
erly point of Gower, we pass successively the castles 
of Oystermouth, Penard, Oxwich, with Penrice 
about IJ miles inland, Rhossili, with Llanddewi 
about three miles to the north-east, and Scurlage, 
within a mile to the south of the latter ; then crossing 

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to the north of the peninsula, near Llanrhidian, we 
have Weobly ; and at the mouth of the Loughor we 
have the castle of that name. All of these castles, 
however, do not date dack to Norman times, as the 
following separate descriptions prove. 

OYSTEEMOUTH CASTLE is an extensive and 
most picturesque ruin close tp the fashionable health 
resort of the Mumbles. This castle was built by 
Henry de Beaumont, Earl of Warwick. Its impor- 
tance may be measured from the fact that here was 
held the legal courts of the lordship of Gower for 


many centuries, and as such was deemed of greater 
importance than the neighbouring castle of 

Some years ago the Duke of Beaufort, the present 
proprietor of the old ruins, gave permission to 
Colonel Deffett Francis to clear away the rubbish 
and accumulations of ages which hid most of the 
pristine beauty of the structure. After much labour 
some of the glory of the architectural design was 

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disclosed. The plan of the castle is polygonal, hav- 
ing the main entrance on the eastern side. The 
walls extended from the main entrance along the 
edge of the cliff upon which it is built. The chapel 
at the north-east end, which formerly was described 
as the Keep, has specimens of some fine architecture. 
The great or banquetting hall, with many of the 
chief apartments, has been properly located after 
the clearance of the debris. Several Gothic win- 
dows with muUions and elegant tracery still remain; 
these had been walled up for many centuries, and 
were concealed by coats of plaster covering, over 
which had grown networks of tangled ivy. The 
Welsh Annals appear to be silent as to who 
destroyed the castle, but it is now assumed that it 
was either Owain Glyndwr or Oliver Cromwell. 

PENARD CASTLE occupies a commanding 
situation on the slope of the rising ground which 
skirts the Penard Pill, and about half-a-mile from 
the sea-shore. It was evidently built to guard the 
eastern entrance to Oxwich Bay, in the same way as 
the western entrance is guarded by Oxwich Castle. 
The only remains to-day are two towers having the 
main entrance between. Dr. Nicholas suggests 
that the structure was probably a great castellated 
residence, erected in warlike times, and maybe of 
the British or Norman age, rather than a regular 
Norman fortress of the more formidable class. Its 
history, however, has been lost in oblivion. 

OXWICH CASTLE possesses a lofty tower, some- 
thing in the form of a Keep, but pierced by numer- 
ous arched windows irregularly placed, which give 

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it another appearance than that of a military struc- 
ture of the Norman or Mediaeval times. The castle 
is supposed to have been built in the reign of Henry 
Vin. by Sir Eice Mansell, Sherfff of Glamorgan, in 
1541. It was evidently a place of considerable 
magnificence. Some authorities state that the 
structure was built for a marine residence, and built 
as strongly as those turbulent times demanded. 

PENEICE CASTLE, or as it is called in the ver- 
nacular, Pen Ehys, is situated about a mile and a 


half to the north of Oxwich Castle. Its present 
ruins leave the impression that it was a fortress of 
great magnitude and imposing grandeur. Stand- 
ing in the midst of a luxuriant and extensive wood- 
land, with the ridge of Cefn Bryn as its background, 
the commanding prospect of the castle with the 
modern mansion nestling under its walls is one of 
the most picturesque. 

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It is believed by some that an old British fortress 
occupied the site of the present ruins. The name 
points to a Welsh origin. The Welsh Annals tell 
us that Ehys, the grandson of the ill-fated lestyn 
ab Gwrgant, after the loss of his heritage in Bro 
Morganwg, removed to Qower and settled there. He 
was not permitted to settle long before Henry de 
Beaumont came to disturb him. We are told in the 
Brut that Rhys had to yield to the Norman, that 
he was made a prisoner and beheaded on this spot, 
hence the name. Beaumont is supposed to have 
erected a castle, or to have strengthened and en- 
larged the original structure according to Norm^,n 

In the time of Edward I. much land in GoWer 
was granted to a Norman family of the name of 
Philip, who had since the Conquest selected flie 
peninsula for a home. This family adopted tjie 
surname Penrhys, which became corrupted into 
Penrees and Penrice. In Jenkins' MS. of pedigrees 
it is stated that: — 

** Sir Hugh Mansel, Knight, son of Richard 

Mansel, by Lucy, daughter of Philip Scur- 

lage, of Scurlage Castle, temp. Richard II., 

married Isabel, daughter of Sir John Penrees, 

Lord of Oxwich. and other large possessions 

in Glamorganshire. This Sir Hugh was the 

great-grandfather of Anthony Mansel, Esq., 

who was slain in the wars between the Houses 

of York and Lancaster." 

The Mansel family continued in possession of the 

Castle and demesnes until the year 1 760, when they 

passed by marriage to the Talbot family. 

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' in the reign of Henry VIII., when the dissolution 
of Monasteries took place, Sir Rice Mansel bought 
the Abbey of Margam. He removed there to live, 
and the ancient castle of Penrice was allowed to 
fall to ruin. A descendant of his, Thomas Mansel 
Talbot, in the early part of the 19th century, caused 
to be erected the present modern mansion, in shel- 
tered proximity to the iVy-covered castle. This 
mansion has been tne Gower residence- of the f amilv 
ever since. 

LLANDDEWI CASTLE occupies a position some , 
three miles inland from Worms Head, the western 
extremity of the peninsula. It is an erection of 
the early part of the 14th century, and was built by 
Bishop Gower, of St. David's, as an episcopal palace 
for the see of that name. It did not long survive 
his time, for his successor, Bishop Holton, ordered 
its demolition in 1374, and that the materials were 
to be sold. It was not, however, destroyed in its 
entirety as some portions of the old ruins stand in 
situ to-day ; these are utilised for farm buildings. 

SCUELAGE CASTLE is of Norman origin, as 
indicated by the name. The founder was Sir 
Herbert Scurlage, who obtained the manor and its 
privileges from Richard de Clare in the year 1250, 
that he might *' curb the natives." Some of its 
remains are still standing. Its name in the vernac- 
ular is Trecastell, and the family who next possessed 
it were known as the ** Gibbons of Trecastell." The 
Gibbons traced their descent from Einion ab 
OoUwyn. They were successful in getting into the 
good graces of the De Breos's, and were granted 

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much lands and privileges by the favour of that 
haughty family. 

WEOBLY CASTLE is situated in the north of 
Gower, between Cheriton and Llanrhidian, being at 
the distance of a mile from the latter village. It 
occupies the summit of a high crag, and the existing 
remains prove it to have been a place of considerable 
strength. Its origin is attributed to a Norman 
family of the name of De la Bere. Like many of 
the other castles its history has been lost in oblivion. 
The towers are numerous and of many forms, some 
being square, whilst others are six-sided and 

LOUGHOR CASTLE is supposed to have been 
erected by Henry de Beaumont about the year 1099. 
It was considered a very important position in those 
early Norman times, because it commanded the ferry 
across the estuary. The Romans in earlier times 
had deemed it necessary to establish one of their 
military stations here on the great highway, the Via 
Julia, to which they gave the name of Leucarum. 

In 1115 A.D. the castle was attacked by Gruffydd 
ab Rhys ab Tewdwr, when it was razed- to the 
ground. It was, however, soon re-captured by the 
Normans and re-built. Howell ap Meredydd of 
Brecknock, an ally of Gruffydd, wreaked his ven- 
geance upon it in 1136 a.d., and burnt the castle 
to the ground. In the early years of Stephen's 
reign it was again restored, and garrisoned by a 
strong force of Norman adventurers, who occupied 
themselves in ravaging the adjoining lordship of 

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Th6 sons of Gruffydd ab Rhys getting tired of 
these continual irruptions, fiercely attacked the 
castle in 1150 a.d. They drove out the garrison^ 
and utterly demolished the stronghold. It seema 
to have been once more restored, for in 1215 the Brut 
tells us that Ehys Fychan of Dinefawr destroyed 
this and most of the other castles of the peninsula. 
In the reign of Edward II. the lordship of Glower, 
with ats castles, including that of Loughor, was 
granted Hugh le Despenser, the younger. It is 
recorded that he went to great expense in the 
restoration of this castle. 

RHOSSILI CASTLE stands on a rocky promon- 
tory on the sea-coast, in close proximity to Worms 


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Christianity appears to have been introduced into 
Siluria at a very early date, whether by the Roman 
soldiers of the first century, or by released British 
captives who had been taken to Rome with Carata- 
cus, is a question which has been the subject of 
much discussion, but which we are not expected 
to solve. The Welsh Triads speak of '* Three Holy 
families of the Isle of Britain, viz., 

** The family of Bran, the Blessed, who brought 
the faith in Christ first into this island from 
" The family of Cunedda Wledig, who first 
gave land and privileges to God and his 
saints in the Isle of Britain." 
" The family of Brychan Brycheiniog who gave 
his children and grandchildren a liberal 
education, that they might be able to teach 
the faith in Christ to the nation of the Cymry, 
where they were unbelievers." 
In the *' Genealogy of Saints " we have the names 
of four Christian missionaries who accompanied 
Bran the Blessed upon his return to his native 
country, viz.. Hid, Cyndaf, and his son Mawan, who 
are called *' Men of Israel," and Arwystli Hen, who 
is called " A man of Italy." 

It is stated of Hid that he converted many of the 
Cymry to the Christian faith. He is represented 

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in the Genealogy of lestyn ab Gwrgant, as having 
come to this country from Eome at the request of 
Eurgain, the daughter of the warrior Caradog, and 
that he was " the chief instructor of the Cymry in 
the Christian faith." To him belongs the credit of 
having systematized a choir or cloister of twelve 
religious persons, which. Eurgain had founded near 
the church called Llanilid or Llanilltyd, and which 
.cor or college had already been designated Cor 

But these statements and many of a similar char- 
acter are only traditional. They nevertheless prove 
ihat the county of Glamorgan holds an honoured 
place in the traditionary lore of these islands. The 
picturesque old narratives of the first two centuries 
of the Christian Era may not be relied upon, nor 
is it safe to build upon them a fine structure of 
ancient religious theories, as has been done by some 
.authorities, yet in many instances some of the 
traditions unquestionably deserve to be true. 

When we come to the close of the fourth and the 
T3eginning of the fifth centuries, we arrive at 
jauthentic and well-substantiated facts. Early in 
the fifth century the Pelagian heresy created a 
serious rent in the Christian Church of Britain. 
The British ecclesiastics of the orthodox type placed 
their difiiculties before a great synod of Gallican 
prelates in the year 429 a.d., and as a result of their 
.deliberations, two bishops were commissioned to 
visit Britain to suppress the heresy. These were 
Germanus or Garmon, Bishop of Auxerre, who was 
•of Cymric extraction, being the son of Ehedyw, and 
•an uncle of Emyr Llydaw, an Armorican prince, and 

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Lupus or Bleiddian, Bishop of Troyes. An old 
record bears the following interesting testimony: — 

** Garmon and Bleiddian brought reason, leanw 
ing, and Scripture to bear against the argu- 
ments and sophistry of the Pelagians with 
such powerful effect, as to put them com- 
pletely to silence." 

Bleiddian's name is perpetuated in the place- 
names of Llanfleiddian Fawr near Cowbridge. and 
Llanfleiddian Fach or St. Lythian's in this county,, 
the churches of which places are said to have been 
founded by him. 

The .great mass of circumstantial evidence found 
in ancient records, and elaborately treated by such 
great authorities as Gildas, Bede, Usher, and Stil- 
lingfleet points to the fact that Christianity had 
obtained a firm footing among the Cymry before 
the arrival of the Saxons, and long before the com- 
ing of Augustine and his monks in the sixth 
century to preach the gospel to that people. There 
were in Morganwg alone, two very large establish- 
ments called corau or biangorau, having each an 
immense number of religious students. These were- 
Bangor Illtyd or Llanilltyd Fawr and Llancarvan^ 
Triad 98 records: — 

"The three bleseed youth-traineops of the Isle of Britain: — 
Cattwg the »oii of Gwynllyw at Llangarvan; 
Madawg Morvryn at CJor mtyd; 
and DeinioJ Wyn in Q-wjmedd; they were Bards." 

Two of the *' three blessed youth-trainers " it will 
be seen were settled in Morganwg. 

It was in the closing years of the sixth century 
that Augustine, the monk, came to Britain with the 

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'* express design," says Bede, " of converting the 
Pagan Saxons to the faith of Christ." He is said 
to have invited Dunawd of Bangor Iscoed, who had 
been presented to him as pre-eminent among the 
learned of that age, to come and assist him 
in preaching the gospel to the Saxons. Dunawd 
replied that he " did not think it worthy to preach 
to that cruel people," who had treacherously slain 
their parents, and robbed them of their just and 
legitimate property. Bede, in stating of his refusal 
to join the foreign prelate, shows that Dunawd 
maintained that his countrymen owed spiritual sub- 
mission to none under God, besides the Archbishop 
of Caerlleon; and on this point he emphatically 
enforced his arguments by an earnest appeal to Holy 

At the second synod or conference of Augustine 
and the British ecclesiastics, which is said to have 
met at Aust, near the borders of Siluria, there were 
seven British bishops, and many very learned men, 
the majority of whom came from the college of 
Dunawd at Bangor Iscoed. We learn from Leland 
that the British annalists have given a more ample 
account of this conference than what is extant in 
Bede's; that according to this testimony Dunawd 
did at large dispute with great learning and gravity 
against receiving the authority of the Pope or of 
St. Augustine ; and that he defended the power and 
authority of the Metropolitan of Caerlleon, and 
affirmed it not to be for the British interest to own 
either the Eoman pride or the Saxon tyranny ; that 
he found fault with Gregory for not admonishing 
the Saxons of their gross usurpations against their 

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solemn oaths; and that it was their duty, if they 
would be good Christians, to restore to the British 
their lands and their deprived privileges. 

When Augustine perceived that all his advances 
were of no avail, he is reported to have told the 
British ecclesiastics in a threatening tone, that since 
they would not have peace with brethren, they 
should have war with enemies; and as they were 
unwilling to preach the way of life to the Saxons, 
they should suffer by their hands the vengeance of 
death. This threatening prediction was shortly 
afterwards woefully verified, and there commenced 
those fearful ravages of the religious establishments 
of the Cymry which have been referred to in their 
proper sequence in the History portion of this work. 

Though there were several British monastic 
establishments in the land before the coming of 
Germanus and Lupus to aid in suppressing the 
Pelagian heresy, yet it is generally thought that 
these two bishops gave the monastic movement it& 
renewed impetus, and as a result others came to be 
established in various parts of the country. 

The native leaders in the revival movement were 
David, the patron saint of Wales, Gildas, and Cadoc, 
and perhaps Dyfrig, Teilo, and Padarn. Paulinus, 
or as he is called in the vernacular. Pawl Hen, and 
Illtyd had founded their schools or corau some time 
earlier. To Paulinus belongs the credit for found- 
ing the monastery of Tygwyn-ar-Daf (Whitland), 
and there the best authorities state that Dewi and 
Teilo received what is usually called a liberal educa- 
tion. Hltyd has the credit of founding Bangor 
Illtyd or Llantwit Major Monastery, on what is- 

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traditionally said to be Cor Eurgain, which became- 
corrupted into the nomenclature Cor worgan or Cor 
Wrgan. Some authorities will have us believe that 
Padrig or St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, 
was educated at Llantwit Major, some thirty yearfr 
prior to the appearance of Dewi or Sant Dewi in the^ 
early religious history of our country. 

known in the vernacular, Llanilltyd Fawr, stands 
near the seashore, off Col Hugh Point and five milefr 
to the south-west of Cowbridge. Illtyd, the founder 
of the monastery, was a contemporary of Dyfrig or 
Dubritius, the first bishop of ine See of Llandaff. 
He established it under the patronage of Meirchioh, 
a chieftain of Morganwg. Tradition tells us that 
it flourished exceedingly and that there were over 
two thousand students and holy men in the cloisters,, 
among whom were the sons of kings, princes, and 
nobles. Sir Edward Stradling's book records that 
there were seven sons of different kings taught here- 
at the same time, and that noblemen from the con- 
tinent sent their sons to receive a liberal education 
here. The Cor of Illtyd or Iltutus stood to the 
north of the churchyard, where a house of modern 
build now stands. The monastic buildings evi- 
dently extended along the hill brow to the field 
known as the *' Old See," where the monastery gate- 
house remains, which has recently been restored. 

In the HorsB Britannicae it is recorded that the 
monastery had as habitations, seven halls and four 
hundred houses. Another account states that the 
establishment comprised seven churches, each with 

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seven companies, and seven colleges in each com- 
pany, having seven saints in each college, making in 
-all 2,401 students. The course of instruction em- 
braced not only such sacred and profane literature 
AS was requisite for a clerical education, but also 
included husbandry and other useful arts. The 
memory of its founder is especially honoured for 
having introduced among his countrymen an im- 
proved method of ploughing, " for before his time 
their land was not cultivated but with the mattock 
.and overtreading plough as the manner of the Irish 
is. Hence he is one of the three benefactors of the 
nation of the Cymry." Archbishop Usher tells us 
that St. Illtyd came to be known as " the excellent 
master of the British." 

So famous did this monastery become tnat its 
-origin in the mediaeval ages was traditionalh/ 
ascribed to a period previous to that of Illtyd viz. 
that of the Emperor Theodosius and Constantine the 
Blessed (Cystenyn Fendigaid). 

The College is said to have sent forth its learned 
men as teachers and bishops to all parts of this 
country and those of the continent. Among the 
most celebrated of such were St. Dewi, Paulinus, 
Bishop of Leon in Spain, Samson, the Archbishop 
•of Dol in Brittanny, Gildas, the historian, and St. 
Patrick. The traditions concerning St. Patrick 
state that the ** pagan Irish " came and destroyed 
the monastery and carried Padrig away to Ireland. 
Seeing the wickedness of the people he is stated to 
have received Divine permission to remain in Ire- 
land to convert the Irish to Christianity. 

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The monastery of Illtyd flourished for abotzt 
•seven hundred years, until the conquest of Glamor- 
gan by the Normans. It was dealt a very severe 
blow by Eobt. Fitzhamon when he transferred the 
-emoluments of the property it possessed to Tewkes- 
bury Abbey. It appears," however, to have retained 
-some small portion of its revenues until the reign of 


Henrj^ VIII., when at the Dissolution of Monasteries 
its profits v/ere bestowed upon the new chapter of 
Gloucester Cathedral. 

In the curious old church at Llantwit Major, 
which in itself is a huge and complete monument 
of the antiquities of different ages, stands some 
interesting reminiscences of early Cymric Chris- 


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tianity. Perhaps the chief object of interest is the 
Cross of St. ntutus which was removed some years 
ago from the centre of the northern part of the 
churchyard into the restored Western Chapel. 
The cross stands over seven feet high; its width at 
the base is thirty inches ; and it tapers at the apex 
to a measurement of twenty inches. It bears the 
following Latin inscription: — ** Crux Iltuti, Samson 
Bedis, Samuel Equisor, Samson Posuit Hanc 
Crucem pro Anima Ejus," i.e., " Cross of Illtyd, 
raised by Samson, carved by Samuel, Samson placed 
this cross for (the go* . of) his soul." This cross, 
of which the shaft only remains, has been an object 
of admiration by visitors from all parts of the world. 
It may properly be regarded as the comer-stone of 
early Christian missionary work and primitive Brit- 
ish education in Siluria. 

Another important memorial of the fifth century 
is the Cross of Samson which also stands in the 
Western Chapel. It stood originally against the 
wall of the porch on the south side of the church, 
after it had been unearthed by that keen antiquary 
old lolo Morganwg in the year 1789. This 
cross has a strange history. 

When Camden visited Llantwit Major in 1580, 
A.D., he made a copy of all the inscriptions 
on the crosses that were then known, and 
these are in existence to-day ; but he does not 
refer in anywise to the Cross of Samson, perhaps 
the most interesting of all. Old lolo in his latter 
days referred to a tradition which was told him 
when a child by one Richard Punter that a huge 
stone cross lay in a certain spot in the graveyard 

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which covered the grave of a Llantwit youth called 
" Will the giant," who was said to be seven feet 
seven inches in height. He died at the age of 
seventeen, and desired to be buried at the foot of 
the Cross of Samson. In digging his grave the 
pillar was rendered insecure, and immediately after 
the interment it fell ii^to the still open grave. It 
was left to lie there and was covered with earth. 
Having obtained permission to excavate, lolo did so, 
and discovered this particular cross of Samson. 
There it must have lain long before Camden paid his 
visit. The inscription in 21 short lines of Latin 
reads: — '*In Nomine Di Summi Incipit Crux 
Salvatoris Quae Preparuit Samsoni Apati Pro 
Anima Sua Et Pro Anima luthahelo Eex Et Artmali 
Tecani," i.e., " In tlie name of the God Most High 
begins the Cross of the Saviour, which Abbot Sam- 
son prepared for his soul,, and for the soul of King 
Ithael, and Arthfael the Dean." 

Then there is the great wheel cross of Hywel, 
Prince of Morganw^. for the soul of his father 
Ehys. This is thought to be a cross of the ninth 

The bosses of the roof of the Western Chapel con- 
tain the arms of the various knights who entered 
Wales with Fitzhamon. There may also be seen 
the heraldic designs of names which are very 
familiar in the Vale, viz., Le 'Esterlings or Strad- 
lings. Sir Thurston de Bassett. the Botelors or But- 
lers, and those of the Voss family who were of great 
importance in these parts in the Tudor period. 

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tion of this British monastery is attributed by some 
authorities to Constantine the Blessed, i*e. Cystenyn 
Llydaw, whilst others credit Bishop Germanus or 
Garmon with the honour. Garmon settled in these 
islands until the time of Vortigem, and then 
returned to Auxerre. The first abbot of Llancar- 
van was Dyfrig or Dubritius, until his transla- 
tion to be bishop of Llandaff circa 436, a.d. He 
was succeeded by his friend Cadoc or Cattwg 
Ddoeth, the son of Gwynlliw Filwr, a Gwentian 
prince. The legend of Cadoc in the " Genealogy 
of the Saints " represents him as living in princely 
style and liberality at Llancarvan. 

" He daily fed a hundred clergjnnen, and a 
hundred soldiers, a hundted workmen, a hun- 
dred paupers with the same number of 
widows. This was the number of his house- 
hold, besides servants in attendance, and 
esquires and guests, whose number also was 
uncertain, and a multitude of whom used to 
visit him frequently* 

'' Nor is it strange that he was a rich man 
and supported many, for he was abbot and 
. prince besides his father Gunluc from Ffynon 
Hen, that is the Old Well as far as the mouth 
of the Eymni, and he possessed the whole 
territory from the river Gulich (trib of the 
Daw or Ddawen) as far as the river Nadauan 
from Pentyrche right on to the valley of 
Nantcarvan, from the valley f v rsooth the 
river Gurimi (a stream near Cadoxton juxta 

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Barry) that is the little Reinni towards the 

To Cadoq there has been ascribed quite a 
wealth .of Welsh proverbial . philosophy which 
ha^ . been , ^ collected, and embodied in the 
Myfyrian Archaiology. Upon one occasion 
he proposed seven questions to seven wise 
men of his college, viz., Talhaiarn the bard, Teilo, 
Arawn ab Cynvarch, Taliesm, the chief of bards, 
Gildas y Coed Aitr, Cynan ab Clydno Eiddin, and 
Ystyfan, the bard of Teilo. The essence of their 
replies is as follows : — 

(1.) What is the greatest goodness which any 

man displays? Justice. 
(2.) What is the supreme wisdom of man ? Not 

to injure another when he has the power. 
(3.) What is the greatest mischievousness in 

man? Unchastity. 
(4.) Who is the poorest man ? He who will not 

presume to take of his own property. 
(B.) Who is the richest man? He who will not 

covet another person's property. 
(6.) What is the fairest quality with which a 

man is endowed? Sincerity. 
(7.) What is the greatest folly in man? To 

wish evil to another without the power of in- 
flicting it. 

To his disciple Taliesin, ,the chief of bards, he 
vouchsafed the following counsels: — 

Consider before thou speakest : — 
First, What thou speakest ; 

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! Secondly, Why thou speakest; 
Thirdly, To whom thou speakest ; 
Fourthly, Concerning whom thou speakest ; 
Fifthly, What will come of what thou speakest ; 
Sixthly, What will be the benefit of what thou 

speakest ; 
Seventhly, Who may be listening to what thou 

Place thy word on the end of thy finger before 

thou speakest it; 
And turn it these sev^n ways befoxe thou 
- speakest it; 

And no harm will ever result from what thou 

To Ara,wn the son of Gynvarch, King of the North, 
he gave the ioUowing advice so pregnant of sound 
common sense. Arawn was on the point of taking 
his departure from the Monastery after completing 
his education there. 

** Turn a deaf ear to every bad language. 
Turn thy back to every bad deed. 
Turn a closed eye to everjrthing monstrous. 
Turn thy sight and heart to everything beautiful 
Turn thy open hand to every poverty. 
Turn thy mind to every generosity. . 
Turn thy reason to the counsels of the wise. 
Turn thy affection to things divine. 
Turn thy devotion to every goodness. 
Turn thy whole genius with a view to excel. 
Turn thy understanding to know thyself. 

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Turn thy sciences to accord with nature. 
Turn all thy faculties upon what is happy. 
Turn all thy heart and might upon Gk)d the 

But that which gives the monastery its greatest 
fame and celebrity is the circumstance of the 
association of " Caradoc of Llancarfan/* the 
mediaeval historian, with it, as a monk in its 
cloisters.. Caradoc has the credit of writing the 
Chronicles of the Princes, known as " Brut y 
Tywysogion," giving the salient events in the early 
history of Wales from the abdication of Cadwaladr 
circa 686 a.d., to his own time 1157 a.d. Several 
copies of these manuscripts bearing the impress of 
undoubted authenticity have been preserved to our 
own day. These vary very much in dialect, and 
in the fulness of their information, but in their 
record of facts, they substantially agree, as might 
be expected when we remember that they are copies 
of the same original work, written in different ages 
and provinces by various transcribing editors. 

Caradoc and Walter de Mapes^ Archdeacon of 
Oxford, were contemporaries, the latter holding the 
office of chaplain to King Henry I. Mapes was a> 
native of the parish of Llancarvan as Caradoc was, 
and he is said to have rebuilt the church of his native 
parish at his own personal cost. Another con- 
temporary of theirs was Gteoffrey of Monmouth, i.e., 
Gruffydd ab Arthur. Thus there lived in Ine same 
age three of the greatest of the early mediaeval 
Welsh historians. Walter de Mapes when a young 
man translated Brut y Brenhindedd; otherwise 

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known as Brut Tysilio, into Latin. In his old age 
he retranslarted it fromXatin back into WeMi, mak- 
ing many additions thereto. Geoffrey of Momnouth 
did a similar service or dis-service to the Brutiau by 
turning them into the fashionable idiom of his time^ 
adding much to them in the form of fantastic 

To these two learned men belongs the credit for 
tliq creation of that marvellous Arthurian cycle of 
myth, poetry, and romance, based upon the annals 
prepared by Caradoc of Llancarvan, which has held 
in enchantment the mediaeval and modem worlds of 


The rapacious Norman knight adventurers having 
been permitted to take " all and sundry," which they 
could lay their hands on in Glamorgan, subject, of 
course, to the profession of allegiance to their 
sovereigns, set about first the erection of their huge 
castles for the protection of themselves and families, 
and in the second place they set apart a share of the 
plunder for some Norman or Anglo-Norman Abbey. 
As has been stated by Professor Freeman in his 
'* Norman Conquest," ** Each Norman chieftain at 
that time of pillage, compromised and commuted 
Jiberally with Heaven for a life of brilliant crimes." 
These Houses or Abbeys, in sign of their acceptance 
of the gifts made by the plunderers, would send out a 
few monks with a prior to occupy the lands given, 
anck would there found a cell. 

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The first great religious order to obtain a footing' 
in Morganwg was the Benedictines. They estab- 
lished themselves at Ewenny. The next order was, 
what has been called, the Eefonned rjovement ofSt 
Bernard, and designated the Cistercians. This wa& 
probably the most favoured at Eome, partly because 
of its austerity, and partly, as Giraldus says, be- 
cause of the money it expended in promoting its 
causes before the curia at Rome. The Cistercians 
aimed at the reforming of the Benedictine rule in all 
its strictness, insisting to a marked degree upon 
manual labour. They loved the wildest and most 
secluded parts of the countrj^, remote from garrisons 
and castles, although in Morganwg it was difficult 
to settle down at any great distance from a castle. 
They utilised the land for pasture, keeping tiocks of 
sheep, and thus came to be known as the great 
wool growers for all Europe. Th^y specially associ- 
ated themselves with the life of the people among 
whom they lived. Giraldus tells us that " while the 
whole Cistercian Order formed a united body for pur- 
poses of monastic life and dicipline, each abbey iden- 
tified itself in a very remarkable way with the local 
or national aspirations of the people round, from 
whom its monks were drawn." They settled them- 
selves at Neath and Margam. 

' Besides the three chief religious houses above 
mentioned, there were orders of another kind, which 
came into existence about the close of the twelfth 
century. These were the Houses of Preaching 
Friars. Whilst the monks of tne Benedictine and 
Cistercian orders retired into the cloisters to save 
their own souls, the friars established themselves in 

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the centres of population, even in the slums of the 
larger towns, to save the souls of others. Such were 
the Grey Fbiabs or FbanoisOans, and the Bi*ack 
FaiARS or Dominicans in Cardiff. 


The Franciscans appear to have been the more 
Jiersistent and devoted of the two orders of Friars. 

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'They are said to have used their utmost endeavours 
to rouse the moral sense of the people, by their in- 
<5essant preaching in places where people loved to 
congregate, viz., at fairs and markets. In the 
mediaeval ages the popular way of spending the day, 
after the fairs or markets were over, was to stand 
And listen to the friars preach. One of the most 
popular of the friars was a Welshman named Friar 
John David, of Cardiff, who is said to have preached 
or lectured with such success at Hereford for a whole 
year, that the clergy of that city petitioned for the 
•continuance of his services for another year, as being 
absolutely indispensable. It was after this that he 
became the head of the Franciscan province of Eng- 
land. He lies buried among the ruins of the Grey 
Friars Church at Cardiff. 

In their preaching, the Friars aimed at inculcating 
the moral phase of life, and in every topic they dis- 
<50ursed upon, they endeavoured to appeal to the 
moral sense of their audiences. The following sum- 
mary of a friar's sermon will serve to show their 
method of discourse, the subject being the relative 
merits of the " Ass and the Pig " : — 

" The pig and the ass live not the same life ; for 
the pig during his life does no good, but eats, 
and swills, and sleeps ; but when he is dead, 
then do men make mucli of him. The ass is 
hard at wotk all his days, and does good 
service to many ; but when he dies, there is 
no profit. And that is the way of the world. 
Some do no good thingf while they live, but 
eat and drink, and wax fat. and then they are 
dragged off to the larder of hell, and others 

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428 ;^^ ^LAMORGy\N. 

enrich themselves with their goods. Whereby 
. • I know that those, who for God's sake, live the- 
^ ,. ^ ^oly life of poverty, shall never lack subr 
. , . stance, because their heavenly Father has pigF? 
..ito kill. For as the good man before the sea- 
son shall kill a pig or two to give pudding.^ 
to his children, so will our Lord kill those 
hardened sinners before their time, and s'wer 
their goods to the children of God. So the 
': psalmist says: * The bloodthirsty and deceit- 

ful men shall not live out half their days, be- 
: cause they do no work to keep their bodies 
, ■ healthy.' 

Nothing is so healthful for body and soul as 
honest work. Work is the life of man, the 
guardian of health; work drives away sin, 
and makes people sleep well at night. Work 
is the strength of feebleness, tne health of 
sickness, the salvation of men, quickener of 
the senses, foe to sloth, nurse of happiness, a 
duty in the young, and in the ola a merit. 
Therefore it is better to be an ass than a pig." 

EWEXNY PEIOEY occupies the left bank of the 
Ewenny river from which it derives its name. It lies^ 
about one-and-a-half miles to the south-east of the 
town of Bridgend. Tiie Priory was founded in the 
year 1140 a.d.. for Benedictine monks by William de 
Londres, lord of Ogmore. In the following year it 
was made as a gift to St. Peter's Abbey of Gloucester, 
by his son ^laurice de Londres. The structure- 
attracts one's attention by its military peculiarities^ 
being defended by a strong line of fortifications, with 

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£kn embattled tower of massive construction on the 
north side. This perhaps, is some proof that when 
it was originally erected it stood in the midst of a 
hostile population, and that it was as necessary to 
be as much a castle as a church. Professor Freeman 
has left us the following description of it: — 

"The Priory Church at Ewenny is a building 
remarkable on several grounds. It is one of 

, the earliest of the great buildings of "Wales, 


bQing an example of pure Norman work. It 
is also, perhaps, the best specimen of a forti- 
fied ecclesiastical building, of the union of 
castle and monastery in the same structure, 
and belongs to the class of churches which 
were at once parochial, and collegiate, or 
monastic. So far as it exists at all. it exists 
very nearly as it was originally built, and it 
oonsequently shows us what a religious edifice 

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-lao , QLAMORQAN. 

raised by invaders in the midst of a half-con- 
quered country was required to be. It was, 
indeed, a shrine for men who performed their 
most solemn rites in fear and trembling, 
amid constant expectation of hostile inroads." 

The turbulence of the times is significantly borne 
out by the ravages which were continually being per- 
petrated in the districts immediately adjoining the 
property which pertained to the Priory. There was 
incessant burning of property, and the slaughtering 
of settlers, between the years 1160 and 1315 a.d. 
But we have no records to show how the Priory of 
Ewenny fared amid such devastation. 

The Priory contains several very ancient tombs 
The tomb of the donor of the church to the Abbey of 
Gloucester is a beautiful specimen of medisBval work- 
manship, and it is remarkable for the perfoct state 
of preservation in which it remains, considering the 
lapse of eight hundred years since it was erected. It 
occupies a position in the transept, and bears upon it 
a carved ornamented cross, not unlike a crosier, with 
an elaborate border of foliage, vine leaves, and 
grapes. The inscription in old Norman characters 
reads: — 

Ici : Gist : Morice : De : Lundres : Le : Pun. 

Dur : Deu : Li : Eende : Sun : Labur : AJtf. 

Upon the suppression of the lesser monasteries in 
1B36, the total amount of the annual income was 
valued by Dugdale at £78 8s. Od.; whilst the net 
income amounted to £B9 4s. Od. The Priory and its 
demesnes were granted then to Sir Edward Came on 
payment down of the sum of £727 6s. 4d., but it once 

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more reverted to the Turberville family by marriage 
in the early years of the eighteenth century. The pre- 
sent proprietor, Thomas Picton Turberville, suc- 
ceeded to the estates in 1867. He has very much 
restored the structure, and it is now a handsome pile 
of massive buildings. 

NEATH ABBEY in its magnificent ruins stands 
on the western bank of the river Nedd. It has from 
time immemorial been called by the Welsh '* Mynach- 
log Glyn Nedd " (Monastery of the Nedd valley). 
Its foundation is attributed to Richard de Granville, 
one of Pitzhamon's knights, and to Constance, his 
wife, who, to quiet their consciences after a pain- 
ful dream, gave the chapel in their castle at Neath, 
with the tithes belonging to it, as well as a large 
tract of land and other possessions, to the Brothers^ 
of Sauvigny, from the convent of Sauvigny, near 
Lyons in Prance, that they might build an Abbey 
at this place. This occurred in 1129 a.d., and a very- 
fine Abbey dedicated to the Holy Trinity, was accord - 
ingly erected on the marsh land to the west of the 

We are told in the Brut of Caradoc of Llancarvan 
that the architect who designed the structure was one- 
Lalys, " a man very skilful in the art of building," 
who was brought here by De Granville, when he re- 
turned from the Holy Land. Lalys was a native of 
Palestine, and as a reward for the ability and skill 
which he displayed in the erection of the magni- 
ficent pile at Neath, his employer, De Granville, be- 
stowed upon him the manor of Laleston, which bears- 
his name. Here Lalys resided until after erecting 

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the Abbey of Margam, and several churches and 
castles in Glamorgan. He was appointed archiiect 
to King Henry I., when he removed to London. . 

The Brothers of Sauvigny were of the Franciscan 
Order of monks, but although this religious house 
had been given to their foreign convent, we have not 
been able to satisfy ourselves that it was ever con- 
sidered an alien abbey, nor that it was in any way 
dominated by that foreign monastery. It very soon 
fell into the hands of the Cistercian Order. 

Neath Abbey possessed the privilege of sanctuary, 
and at one time the unfortunate Edward 11. sought 
an asylum here when pursued by Queen Isabella and 
Mortimer. His hiding place is said to ha e been dis- 
closed by a monk of the Abbey in whom they con- 
fided. Leland speaks of the Abbey as one for White 
Monks, and the fairest Abbey in all Wales. 

The lolo MSS. contain a curious laudation of tlie 
Abbey and its Abbot by a Welsh bard named leuan 
Ddu. This was so unusual an event in the mediaeval 
ages, for the bard and the priest were at eternal feud 
with one another. This is how leuan apostrophises 
Abbot Lewis: — 

" G-ramniar, he Ib as firm in the faith. 
With the strengrth of forty grammarians; 
In Art, he is fully matured; 
In Civil Iiaw, he is a perfect surety; 
In Sophistry, he brightly effervesces; 
In Music, he has no limit. 
There is no one scholar, nor even two, 
In the world of equal knowledge. 
Learning is in his possession. 

He is al0O, if required, a mirror to distant countries. 
He would determine every disiputation, 
Precious in his judgment, solid is his sentence, 
In purity like the Pope's, of ancient pure descent, 
"Superior to Oxford and its devices." 

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To account for such an apparent change in the 
public sentiment towards the monks and their 
cloisters, as expressed by a bard of the fifteenth cen- 
tury, is an unsolved riddle. But it is more than pro- 
bable that ** Mynachlog Glyn Nedd ' was more Welsh 
in sentiment thaii ihe other abbeys of Wales. Its 
Abbot, too, was a Cymro, being the son of Dafydd 
Ddu, offeiriad of Glyn Neath, who is said to have 
translated the " service of the Virgin " into the ver- 

Judging from the. poems still extant, our Abbey of 
Neath would seem to have been by far the most 
famous abbey in South Wales for the patriotism of 
its sentiments and its patronage of Cymric literature. 
In the year 1520, the celebrated bard, Lewys Mor- 
^anwg wrote a very elaborate epic in praise of Abbot 
Lleision, or Leyshon, of Neath. The Abbot is repre- 
sented as a person most munificent, hospitable, and 
generous, as a man of great benevolence, erudition, 
and piety. The bard in glowing terms belauds the 
iriendly and generous welcome given to him by the 
Abbot, and is, perhaps, extravagant in his admira- 
tion of the grandeur and magnificence of the noble 
Abbey, of the costly ornaments of its interior, of the 
rich robes and gorgeous vestments of its priests, and 
of its valuable relics, with their miraculous virtues. 

When the smaller monasteries were suppressed in 
1B36 A.D., Neath, though in the category of such 
•establishments, was deemed of suflB.cient merit and 
good repute, or of sufiicient wealth, to escape dis- 
solution under the Act of 1536. Its charter, or grant 
of continuance, was tendered it on the 30th January, 

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1637, upon payment of a fee of £66 13s. 4d. But by 
the Act of 1639 a.d., it met with the fate of " the 
great and solemn monasteries," and was swept away 
as a religious house. Its demesnes were granted 
to Sir Eichard Williams, of Cefnon, an ancestor of 
OUvffr Cromwell, in the 36th year of the reign of 
Henry VIII. There were only eight monks in the 
cloisters at the dissolution, and its revenues were 
valued by Dugdale at £132 7s. 7d., and by Speed at 
£ 150 4s. 9d. In the year 1660 a.d., it became the seat 
or residence of the Hobby family. 

Henry, the first Duke of Beaufort, in his Progress 
through Wales in 1684, as '' Lord President of 
Wales," halted at the Abbey. This is how he 
describes it in his " Royal Progress." 

" This at present is famous for one of the fairest 
roomes in Wales. In the old painted glass, 
and in the stone works are seen the coats of 
arms. The first is of Gwrgan ap Ithell, King of 
Glamorgan, lineally descended from Meyric 
ap Tewdrig, King of Glamorgan, that erected 
the cathedrall church of Llandaff, and 
appointed the same a seat for the bishop 
thereof, and gave liveing for maintenance. 
The next coat impaled is of Yngharad, daugh- 
ter of Ednowen, Lord of Ardudwy." 

There are other coats of arms designed in the en- 
caustic tiles, and in glass, as described by Colonel 
G. G. Francis, F.S.A. These comprise the coats of 
arms of King John, the De Clares, and the Scurlage 

A part of the Priory House is still standmg, but 

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the Abbey Church is an absolute ruin. It is thought 
that the large room with the double-vaulted ceiling, 
and supported by diagonal arches, which rise from 
the side walls, and from a row of central columns, 
is the old Chapter House. 

MARGAM ABBEY stands in the beautiful park 
of the demesne of Margam, amid scenes and sur- 
roundings of the happiest repose. Its ruins are not 
so impressive as those of its sister abbey at Neath, yet 










its situation in the peaceful glades of the extensive 
park of the Talbots, lend to it an enchantment which 
is lacking in the more imposing ruins of Neath. 

The foundation of this Abbey is said to have taken 
place in 1147 a.d. To Robert, first Earl of Gloucester, 
and natural son of Henry I., belongs the credit of its 
establishment. Giraldus Cambrensis visited the 
Abbey in 1188 a.d., in company of Archbishop Bald- 
win, of Canterbury, when preaching the Second Cru- 
sade. He calls it " Nobile Cisterciensis Ordinis Mon- 

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asterium," i.e.,"the noble monastery of the Cistercian 
Order," and states that it excelled all others in Wale^ 
for its liberality in relieving tEe distressed. 

" This monastery under the direction of Conan, 
a learned and prudent abbot, was at this time 
more celebrated for its charitable deeds than 
any other in Wales. On this account it is an 
undoubted fact, that as a reward for that 
abundant charity, which the monastery had 
always, in time of need, exercised towards 
strangers and poor persons in a season of 
approaching famine, their corn and provisions 
were perceptibly, by divine assistance, in- 
creased like the Widow's cruise of oil by means 
of the prophet Elijah.'' 

The place is generally supposed to have derived its 
name from Mawrgan, the son of Caradoc ab lestyn, 
about the year 1200 a.d., \vho with his brothers Cad- 
wallon and Meriadoc, confirmed b}^ charter their 
father's benefactions to the Abbey. We have reason 
to gather from some old records that the earliest name 
of the place was Peridar, from the oak- 
crowned hills or headlands at the end of which the 
old Abbey was erected. In Mr* Stevens' additions 
to Sir William Dugdale's Monasticon it is spoken of 
as ** Pendar a Cistercian Monastery in Wales." This 
is confirmed in one of the Margam Charters referred 
to above in which the name Pendar occurs. 

Its revenues at the Dissolution of Monasteries, ac- 
cording .to Dugdale, were valued at £181 7s. 4d. 
Speed estimates them at £188 14s. Od. The Abbey 
was sold to Sir Rice Mansel, knight, of Oxwioh 

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Castle, for the sum of £642 9s. 8d. He adapted some 
portions of the buildings to be a family residence 
These have continued to be the chief abode of the 
family for several generations. The male line of the 
Mansels of Margam became extinct in 1760 a.d., by 
the death of Bussey Mansel, the fourth and last Lord 
Mansel of Margam. Before his elevation to the peer- 
age, he was member of Parliament for Cardiff in 
' 1727, and for the county of Glamorgan in 1737. The 
estates at his death, passed to the Talbot family, the 
heirs by the maternal line of the Mansels, and it has 
ever since remained in that branch of the family. 

In the " Beaufort Progress " of 1684, we have the 
following description of the magnificent abbey resi- 
dence as it then appeared: — 

" Margam, or Margan, was anciently an Abbey, 
one of whose abbots, John Delawere, became 
the thirty-ninth bishop of Llandaff, and died 
June 30th, 1256. 

" Margham is a very noble seat, first purchased 
by Sir Eice Mansell, Knight, who with his 
lady ly buried in Little St. Bartholomew's, 
near Smithfield, London. It appears, from 
some noble ruins about it, to have been formed 
out of an ancient religious house ; the modern 
additions are very stately, of which the stables 

are of freestone the roof being 

ceiled and adorned with cornices and fret- 
work of goodly artifice. 

'* The ancient gate-house before the court of the 
house, remains unaltered, because of an old 
prophesie among the bards thus concerning 

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it aud this family, namely, * That as soon as 
this porch or gatehouse shall be pulled down 
this family shall decline and go to decay; 


** Its situation is among excellent springs, fur- 
nishing all ye oflBces thereof with excellent 
water, att the foot of prodigious high hilles 
of woods, shelter for the deere, about a mile 
distant from an arm of the sea. parting this 
shore and the county of Cornwall in England, 
below which, and washed almost round with 
the salt water, is a marsh, whereto the deere, 
the tide being low, resort much by swimming, 
and thrive to such an extraordinary weight 
and fatness as I never heard or saw the like." 

Tlien in describing the interior of the structure the 
secrotarv to the Duke states that they were 

•' conducted to the summer banqueting-house, 
built after the Italian, where regular simitrie, 
excellent sculpture, delicate graving, and an 
infinity of good Dutch and other paintings, 
made a lustre not to be imagined. Its pave- 
n^nts are of marbles, black, red, mixt, and 
white, chiefly the product of his own quarries 
in lands in the county. Here, nothing was 
spared that the noble place could afford of 
diversion; hence his Grace was entertained 
with the pastime of seeing a brace of bucks 
run down by three footmen, which were after- 
wards led into Margham anticourt alive, and 
there judged fit for the table, before ye hunts- 
man gave the fatall stroke with his semiter-" 

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The old mansion at Margam was pulled down 
about the year 1780, and its contents were removed 
to Penrice Castle, the Gower residence of the family. 
The present mansion, erected between 1842 and 1845 
at a cost of one hundred thousand pounds, is a mag- 
nificent structure. The orangery is supposed to 
occupy the ancient refectory of the old Abbey. It 
is the largest orange house in the world, being 827 
feet long, 81 feet broad, and about 20 feet high. 


Malkin says that the original trees were brought from 
Italy by Sir Henry Wiilron, as a present for King 
Charles the First; but the ship conveying them is 
reported to have been stcn^red through error into the 
Bristol Channel, instead of the English Channel, and 
that it became a wreck on the coast of Glamorgan, 
opposite the demesnes of Margam. The lord of the 
manor carefully collected the trees, brought them to 
the mansion, and purposed forwarding tnem to His 
Majesty, at the close of the Great Civil War. The 

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King never received them, but the trees were re- 
tained and nurtured here as royal property until the 
time of Queen Anne, who made a present of them to 
the then proprietor of Margam, Sir Thomas Mansel, 
Bart., who was created Baron Mansel of Margam 
in the year 1712 a.d. He was comptroller of the 
Queen's Household. . 

The beautiful Chapter House of the ancient Abbey 
in its ruins has a most picturesque aspect. It is a 
polygon in form, and of delightfully elegant pro- 
portions. In the grounds there are many remains 
of antiquity in the shape of sepulchral crosses and 
monoliths. These are dwelt upon in the chapter on 

the religious houses established at Cardiff was the 
Benedictine Priory. It was founded by Robert, 
Earl of Gloucester, in the year 1147 a.d., and was 
constituted a cell to Tewkesbury Abbey. There are 
no vestiges of it in existence to-aay, and much un- 
certainty exists as to where it was located, whether 
within or without the walls of the town. But some 
authorities are of the opinion that it was situated 
without the west walls of the town. 

The second of the religious houses was that of the 
Dominicans or Black Friars^ who were one of the 
orders of preaching friars. 

The Dominicans had their origin in Spain circa 
1170 A.D. Their house at Cardiff was established or 
founded in the year 1266 a.d., under the patronage 
of Sir Richard de Clare, Earl of Gloucester and 
Lord of Glamorgan. It was situated oetween the old 

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structure of the Castle and the Eiver Taff, without 
the Miskin, or West gate of the town. Not a single 
vestige of this ancient edifice now exists, the rem^ 
nants of its walls having been taken down in the 
year 1830, because of their ruinous and dilapidated 

The priory was burnt down in 1404 a.d., by Owain 
Glyndwr, '* as a sacrifice to the cause of Welsh 

The Black Friars, nevertheless, had a home in Car- 
diff until the reign of Henry VIII., when the King 
appointed Sir Edward Came, of Nash Manor, near 
Cowbridge, to effect the demolition of their House. 
For this, Sir Edward was rewarded with the re- 
version of the demesnes of Ewenny Priory. 

The House of Franciscans or Grey Friars waa 
situated at the north-east end of the old town, in 
" Cokkerton Street, or, as it is now called, Queen 

This house was founded in 1280 a.d.. by Sir Gil^ 
bert de Clare, who constituted it a cell to the Mon- 
astery of Bristol. It was dedicated to the '^ Holy 
Brothers of the Trinity,'* whose seal was in the pos- 
session of Dr. NichoU Came. The periphery of the 
figure round the seal has the following inscription : 
"S. Fris: Trinitatis Ap. Kerdif in Walia," which 
reads *' The Seal of the Brethren of the Trinity at 
Cardiff in Wales." 

Until recently there existed near the restored east 
walls of the Castle, some portions of this ola friary 
of the Franciscans, which were the only vestiges in 
existence of the original religious houses of Cardiff. 

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The late Marquis of Bute took steps some years ago 
to mark out the lines of the old Friary Church. The 
foundations of the walls of the nave and chancel, 
and the bases of the pillars were discovered on a 
site within a very few yards of the front of the old 
Herbert house, the back of which at the present time 
overlooks the new road at the southern end of Cat- 
hays Park, from North Road to Park Place. Lord 


Bute, with juaicious foresight, nas very carefully pre- 
served the site of the ancient Grey Friar's Church, 
the floor of which has been tiled, and on the founda- 
tions have been erected low dwarf walls. 

The House of the Grey Friars was the only 
structure which was spared demolition by the ruth- 
less Glyndwr, and that on account of their adher- 
ence to the declining cause of Richard li.. who was 
the particular friend of the Welsh chieftain. 

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In the graveyard ^f the Friary, Llewelyn Bren, 
of Senghenydd, was buried. Here also lies the body 
of Sir William Fleminge, Knight, Lord of Wenvoe, 
St. George's and Llanfaes, who was hanged at Car- 
difiF for wrongfully condemning Llewelyn Bren to 

After the suppression of the Religious Houses by 
Henry VIII. in 1636, the House of Grey Friars was 
granted Sir Wm. Herbert, Knight, who rebuilt it and 
resided there. His family resided at the Friary 
for several generations. 


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There are not many districts in Wales which can 
show a greater wealth of primitive structures, the 
monuments of the prehistoric inhabitants, than our 
county of Glamorgan. Its collection of encamp- 
ments on the summits of the highest hills, its tumuli, 
stone circles, cromlccliau, iiieini hir (standing 
stones), and logan stones, are evidences that the 
territory was inhabited in the long ago by the 
Iberians and the Goidels, the former the people of 
what is called the neo-lithic or new stone age, and 
the latter the people of the bronze-age. It would 
be very difficult to distinguish the landmarks of the 
Brythonic invasions from that of the Goidelic, for 
it is generally assumed by archaiologists that the 
bronze age in Britain commenced 1300 years B.C., 
and terminated 300 B.C. The Iron-age began with 
the second Celtic invasion, viz., the Bryihonic. 

The mountain heights of Morganwg are partic- 
ularly rich in these monuments of prehistoric times, 
in the form* of stone fortresses, cairns and tumuli. 
In some parts, like at Crug yr Avan, one 
may observe several of the old British trackways 
converging to one centre. While in Bro Morganwg 
one may see remains of cromlechau, tumuli, 
dolmens, and meini hir without number. The 
ridge of Cefn-y-Bryn, in Gower, is particularly well- 
supplied with these remains of antiquity, which are 
the admiration of archaiologists from all parts of 
our own and other countries. 

What may have been the purpose of such struc- 
tures has ever been a puzzle, notwithstanding the 

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theorising of the most eminent authorities, but all 
theorising rests entirely upon the purely conjectural. 
Eowlands, in his " Mona Antiqua," tells us that the 
STONE CIRCLES Were open-air temples for worship. 
Whether these circles were formed for worship or 
for some other purpose we are not prepared to offer 
an opinion. But the fact remains that circles of 
this kind exist' in large numbers in various parts of 
the county to-day, though it is probable not in such 
large numbers as might have been the case in formeri 
times. It is well known that stones of the 
description which enter into the composition of 
the circle, have been utilised during various periods 
for the purpose of erecting the stone fences which 
we see so frequently constituting the boundaries on 
the summits of our hills and mountains. 

Perhaps the most celebrated stone circle in the 
county is the one which is in a fairly perfect state 
of preservation on the Pontypridd Common, having 
its huge logan or rocking stone, computed to weigh 
fifteen tons, lying in the centre of the circle. The 
maenchwyf , as it is called in the vernacular, is fixed 
upon a piece of solid rock embedded in the earth. 
At one time the stone was so nicely poised upon its 
pivot that a small child might easily set it rocking. 
Its dimensions are lift. 6in. by 10 feet, and it stands 
five feet high on the side facing the valley, whilst 
on the side facing the hill it is 3ft. 6in. high. 

The structure consists of two concentric circles, 
the outer of which is 39 feet in diameter, and is 
composed of 27 stone-uprights. The inner circle 
contains 13 uprights. 

The bardic fraternity of the days of old Myfyr 

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Morganwg performed their druidic ceremonies there 
four times a year, in hopes of re-establishing ancient 
Druidism in Wales. Similar ceremonies may now 
be seen in connection with the Gorsedd of the 
National Eisteddfod. 

Near the eastern boundary of Newton Nottage 
parish, in South Glamorgan, there formerly stood a 
stone circle, through which the public road has 
been constructed. The Eev. H. H. Knight, the Vicar 
of the parish, states that the present road from 
Newton Nottage to Laleston and Bridgend is not of 
very ancient date, and that some remains of the 
circle were in existence until recent times. The 
stones constituting the ancient structure were large 
millstone-grit blocks similar to those which are 
usually found in such enclosures. 

In the western part of the county, in Llangyfelach 
parish, there is a large stone circle which gave its 
name to the. hill upon which it has been erected, 
i.e., Carn Llecharth. The stones are twenty-four 
in number and vary in their height and dimensions. 
The middle of the circle possesses a dolmen which 
measures some five feet. Camden, the sixteenth 
century antiquary, describes these remains as 
follows: — 

** Tis a circle of rude stones, which are some- 
what of a flat form, such as we call llecheu, 
disorderly pitched in the ground, of about 
seventeen or eighteen yards in diameter; the 
highest of which now standing is not above 
a yard in height. It has but one entry into 
it, which is about four feet wide, and in the 
centre of the area, it has such a cell or hut 

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as is seen in several places of Wales, and 
called Cist Vaen; one of which is described 
in Brecknockshire by the name of St. Iltut's 
Cell. This at Cam Lachart is about six 
feet in length, and four feet wide, and has 
no top stone now for a cover ; but a very large 
one lies by which seems to have slipped off."^ 


" ^ ^v 


There may be seen on the hill of Cam Llecharth^ 
at some distance from the stone circle, distinct traces 
of encampments which are considered prehistoric 
and which lie on the course of an old British track- 
way. They follow one another at respectable 
distances from ridge to ridge. One is known by 
the name of Pentwrclawdd, whilst another is 
designated Pentwrcastell. 

The stone circle of the Drummau Hill, overlooking 
the town of Neath, is of similar construction to the 
one on Cam Llecharth. Its Cist is not so large, 
neither is the circle of such a compass as the one 
in the west. This also was noticed by Camden in 
his great work. 

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■ In Cl&.rk*s " Cartae et Munimenta Glamorganiae," 
it is referred to under date 1203 a.d., as a boundary 
mark of the territory granted by King John to Sir 
William de Breos, and also as a boundary to the 
^anor of Kilvey in Cromwell's survey. 

Francis, in his " Survey of Gower," has placed 
upon record the following statement: — "The said 
Manor extendeth to ye river Tawe on the west, the 
brooke of Crjrmlyn, and a way called the Geven- 
ffordd uppon Mynydd Drymme leadinge to Cisse 


On the ridge of Cefn y Gwrhyd, a little to the 
north of Llangiwg, or as it is now spelt, Llanguicke, 
we find evident signs of a very large stone circle, 
having a diameter of 67 feet, which encloses the 
remains of a cairn. Not many of the stones which 
•constituted the circle are left, but the latter is well 
defined by a continuous bank of earth in fairly 
perfect state except on the south-east for a space of 
25 feet. About twelve feet inside this circle at the 
northern span is a stone upright standing three feet 
high, which is probably all that remains of an inner 
•circle. In the place where it is fixed there are 
some traces of a bank of earth. In the centre of 
ihe circle there are signs of a cavity or depression, 
which is assumed to be the site of a cistfaen, but 
^unfortunately no remains exist to-day. 

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This circle is referred to by Eees in his " Beauties 
of England and Wales/* 1819, as follows:— 

" Three concentric circles of flat stones placed 
like those at Cam Llecharth, and about the 
same size. The diameter of the largest circle 
is about twenty yards; the inner circles are 
separated from this, and from each other, by 
a space of about five feet. In the centre is 



a cistvaen, vulgarly called the altar, which 
is quite perfect. Several of the upright 
stones have been removed and the areas 
between the circles have been nearly filled up 
by large pebbles from the adjacent common." 

the oldest prehistoric remains of our county, as also 
of that of the whole of Britain, are the tumuli, 
which are scattered throughout Morganwg, on the 
summits of commanding hills at convenient centres. 
The greater number of such remains are to be found 
on the mountains separating the basins of the 


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Rhondda, Ogwr and Avan; on Cefn Gelligaer; on 
the hills at the rear of Margam and Neath; and 
also on the range of Cefn y Bryn, in the Gower 

In the vernacular a tumulus is called a twyn or 
crugyn. Of their origin we know but very little, 
although there are various theories propounded, but 
local tradition is as safe a guide as all the theories 
put together. In Morganwg the prevailing opinion 
as to their origin is, that the larger mounds were of 
a military character; this is partly borne out from 
the fact that they are situated on the line of the 
ancient British trackways. Some consider, too, that 
another reason for their construction was undoubt- 
edly sepulchral, and that they mark the burial place 
of some great chieftain of the later stone or bronze 
age, whose name and deeds of valour have long been 
lost in oblivion. 


Standing in solitary grandeur, at a height of 1,859 
feet above the level of the sea, is one of the most 
remarkable tumuli of Morganwg, viz., that of Crug 
yr Avan. It measures in circumference at the base 
some 250 feet, while its diameter is about 77 feet. 
The tumulus proper is 8ft. 3in. in height, and on its 
southern edge there appears the remains of a stone 
tower some three feet high and about 7J feet in 
diameter. This crugyn has all the appearance of 

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having been an important military centre possessing 
great strategic significance, for it commands all 
entrances into the Ehondda Valley. The tumulus 
is surrounded by an abundance of loose stones, 
which in their character are of a different kind to 
the stones which enter into the composition of the 
tower. The latter are for the most part rounded, 
and it is thought by archaiologists that they may 
have been brought from other places. In the Arch : 
Camb : for April, 1902, the Eev. J. Griffiths submits 
the following theory concerning these loose stones, 
which appears to be a reasonable one: — > 

'' There was also a singular custom which 
appears to have been observed in this neigh- 
bourhood as late as the middle of the last cen- 
tury. An aged resident of Blaenrhondda has 
told me that he remembers the time when a 
farmer on the "Glamorgan Alps" would 
" get mad " at a man who would travel along 
the old road, from Hirwaun to Glyncorrwg, 
without picking up a stone to add to one of 
the cairns, which were such useful guides 
along the mountain wilds. I have further 
observed — and I have seen' all the cairns in 
this district whch have supplementary towers 
— that an old road passes by each of thjem. A 
famous old road may be traced from Llan- 
geinor to Blaencwm, passing Crug yr Avon. 
Eoads from Bwlch y Clawdd, Cwmpark, 
Maesteg, and other places meet at the same 
spot. ... It has been suggested that 
the crug was an important repeating station 
in an ancient line of wireless telegraphj. 

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which ran from London to St. David's, pos- 
sibly to Ireland." 
In the vicinity of Monk Xash and Marchoss there 
are tumuli which may probably be considered sepul- 
chral mounds. We have more than half a dozen 
of these in that neighbourhood. Then there is a large 
tumulus at Nottage Court, and also one at Tytheg- 
STON, whilst at a distance of about a mile to the south 
of Nash, we have the one of Pwll-helyg. 

The Cairns or Carneddau found on the summits 
of many of our mountains are the remains of monu- 
ments which are supposed to have been erected to 
persons of distinction in the military line. They were 
of gradual growth, in as much as it was the unfail- 
ing custom for every passer-by to throw his addi- 
tional stone upon the heap, out of reverence for the 
departed hero. The warrior or the bard fell, and the 
eairn rose upon his grave or place of sepulture, to 
point out his resting place for ever. This mode of 
reverence continued in vogue for many centuries 
after the introduction of Christianity into our 
country, when the custom of burj^ing in churchyards 
became the rule. In Lord Lytton's *' Harold " we 
have the following conversation between Gruff ydd 
and his faithful bard, which to a certain extent 
shows that the practice of raising cairns to departed 
worth had not become completely obsolete during 
the later Saxon Period: — 

" Thou wilt outlive me," said G-ryifith, abruptly. 

" This cairn be my tomb." 
" And if so," said the bard, " thou shalt sleep 
not alone. In this cairn what thou lovest best 
shall be buried by thy side; the bard shall 

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raise his song over thy grave, and the bosses 
of shields shall be placed at intervals, as rises 
and falls the sound of song. Over the grave 
of TWO shall a new mound arise, and we will 
bid the mound speak to others in the far 
days to come." 

The district where the greater number of these 
cairns may be seen is the northern side of the Cepn- 
y-Bryn ridge in Gower. Very few are seen on the 
southern slope of this ridge. On the summit of 
Mynydd y Maendy in Ehondda Valley there are evi- 
dent remains of a structure of this description, 
although more recent explorations have proved it to 
have been also a very large stone-walled camp of 
prehistoric importance. In the top of the same val- 
ley there is a cairn called Pebyll, which is situated 
on the boundary between Ystradyfodwg and Glyn- 
corrwg parishes. On the Gelli Mountain, between 
BwUfa and Llwynypia, we have a similar struc- 
ture, in which, by excavations, some flints were 

Cromlechau have been described by some autho- 
rities as Druidical altars. We know not upon what 
grounds, unless it be from the false statements 
which obtained considerable currency in the super- 
stitious times of the mediaeval ages, that the original 
British inhabitants offered up human sacrifices as 
offerings to their deities. The more reasonable con- 
clusion come to is, that they were places of worship, 
when surrounded by circles, as at Stonehenge, or 
that the huge covering stone of the structure was 
part of the cist, where some great hero was buried. 
The etymology of the word belies the statement that 

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they were places for human sacrifice. Crom, or 
Cbomen, a roof br vault, and lleoh, a flat or wide- 
spreading stone ; or it might be from cewm, crymu, 
bending or bowing, indicative of the posture of th« 

The most remarkable monument of this descrip- 
tion in Morganwg is the mysterious solitary struc- 
ture at the western end of Oefn-y-Bryn ridge, and 
known as Arthur's Stone. It is an unshapely 
mass of the conglomerate of the Old Eed Sandstone 
of the district, and its very form disproves the sup- 
position that such structures were ever used for 

abthub's stonk, gowbr. 

altars or for the sacrifice of human victims. Later 
theories propounded from careful research have 
come to the more satisfactory conclusion that they 
were burial places of the great and venerated. 
Arthur's Stone, as we now see it, formed part of a 
much larger and mightier work, and it seems pro- 
bable that this huge monolith at one time was 
buried under an artificial mound, so that it really 
was the central or principal point of an accumula- 
tion of monuments which stood on the same ridge. 

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Several tumuli still remain, as it were in watchful 
proximity. Camden, in his " Britannia," has thus 
described this interesting structure: — 

'' They " (the stones) *' are to be seen upon a 
jutting at the north-west of Kevyn Bryn, the 
most noted hill in Gower. Their fashion and 
posture is this: there is a vast unwrought 
stone, probably about twenty tons in weight, 
supported by six or seven others that are not 
above four feet high, and these are set in a 
circle, some on end, and some edgewise or side- 
long, to bear the great one up. The great one 
is much diminished of what it has been in 
bulk, as having five tons or more by report 
broken off it to make millstones; so that I 
guess the stone originally to have been be- 
tween 25 and 30 tons in weight. The com- 
mon people call it Arthur's Stone. Under it 
is a well, which, as the neighbour's tell me, 
has a flux and reflux with the sea." 
The following interesting description was written 
by Mr. A. S. Kempe, F.S.A., to the Arch. Camb., 
Vol. XXIII., which is a faithful depiction of the 
appearance of the far-famed cromlecli to-day: — 
" It is formed of a stone 14 feet in length and 
7 feet 9 inches in depth, being much thicker, 
as supposed, than any similar relic in Wales. 
It has eight perpendicular supporters, one of 
which, at the north-west end, is 4 feet 2 inches 
in height. The entire height of the structure 
is, therefore, 11 feet 4 inches. The support- 
ing stones terminate in small points, on 
which the whole weight (which cannot be 

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less than 25 tons) of the cromlech rests. All 
the component stones are of a hard compact 
millBtone> of which the substratum of the 
mountain is said to consist. 

" Immediately under the cromlech is a spring of 
clear water, or ** holy well,'* which has ob- 
tained the name in Welsh of " Our Lady's 
well " : a spring thus situated plainly shows 
that the monument is not sepulchral. The 
fountain and cromlech are surrounded by a 
vallum of loose stones, piled in an amphithea- 
trical form. As we know that the Druids con- 
secrated groves, rocks, caves, lakes, and foun- 
tains to their superstitions, there is little doubt 
but that Arthur's Stone was erected over one 
of their sacred springs. It afterwards be- 
came a place of Christian assembly, for in- 
struction and prayer, and as the adoration of 
the Virgin began in the darker ages to vie 
with, if not to eclipse, that of the Saviour of 
mankind, the fountain obtained the name of 
' Our Lady's Well.' " 

Going back to times of earlier traditionary lore, 
the cromlech has been recognised as the Maen Cetti 
of the Welsh Triads, and in this storehouse of Celtic 
wisdom and folklore it is coupled with two others of 
the megalithic works of prehistoric times: — 

" The three mighty labours of the Isle of 
Britain : 

(a) Lifting Maen Cetti. 

(b) Building works of Emrys. 

(c) Piling of the mount of Cy vrangon." 

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The *' Works of Emrys " are supposed to be the 
stone circle of Stonehenge, Dinas Emrys, in the 
Snowdon range, and may be other of the Petrm 
Ambrosai of the unknown past. The " Mount of 
Cyvrangon," i.e., the mount of Assembly, is thought 
to be Silbury Hill, in Wiltshire. The " Stone of 
Cetti " in mediaeval times came to be used as a 
great object of comparison whenever any thing 
gigantic was done, hence the proverb, " Mai gwaith 
Maen Cetti," i.e., Like the labour of the stone of 

The lolo MSS. have chronicled the following in- 
teresting tradition concerning this cromlech; — 

*' Maen Cetti on Cefn y Bryn in Gower, was, 
says ancient tradition, adored by the pagans, 
but Saint David split it with a sword, in proof 
that it was not sacred ; and he commanded a 
well to flow from under it, which flowed 
accordingly. After this event those who pre- 
viously were infidels became converted to the 
Christian faith. There is a church in the vici- 
nity called Llan Ddewi, where it is said that 
Saint David was the rector before he became 
consecrated a bishop, and it is the oldest 
church in Gower." 
Coming to the " Vale of Glamorgan," which, as 
has been shown in former chapters, is so rich in the 
remains of castles and religious houses of mediaeval 
and earlier times, yet it is able to show some of the 
most perfect specimens of structures of prehistoric 
times in the form of cromlechau. 

About a mile to the south of the village of St. 
Nicholas, and in the parish of Dinas Powis, is a. 

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well-known cromlech, designated Llech y Filast, 
which is considered to be the largest in super- 
iicial measurement of any cromlech in Britain. It 
is situate in a wood on the left of the main road 
between Cardiff and Cowbridge. The hori- 
zontal stone of this ancient monument is twenty-four 
feet long by seventeen feet broad, and in parts is 
nearly a yard in thickness. The stone uprights are 
five in number, with an average height of six feet; 
these enclose it on three sides, and form a chamber or 
apartment underneath, measuring sixteen feet by 
fifteen feet. This chamber is reached by a sharp 
descent. Around this structure are several dismem- 
bered portions of other cromlechs, some in solitary 
state, whilst others are heaped in disorder. 

Malkin, the Antiquary of the eighteenth century, 
in his " South Wales," tells us that it is rather singu- 
lar that these cromlechs should almost everywhere 
in Glamorgan — ^where there are many of them — be 
known by the uncouth term of " greyhound bitch 
kennel." Tolo Morganwg, in attempting to account 
for this singular appellation, states that in all pro- 
bability the first British Christians, by way of show- 
ing their detestation, wherever they met with Drui- 
dical or heathenish places of worship, connected 
them with dog or bitch kennels. 

Wirt Sikes, in his " Eambles in Old South Wales," 
has discussed this same feature, and remarks that 
one interesting group of cromlechs in Cardiganshire 
is called the " stone of the bitch." He further states 
that in Glamorganshire one cromlech goes by the 
name of the ** Stone of the greyhound bitch." That 
one would be this cromlech of St. Nicholas. In some 

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other parts of Wales they are known as the " Stone 
of the wolf bitch." He goes on to say: — "These 
designations refer to no fact of modern experience. 
They are legendary. The Cambrian form of the 
&tory'^ of Melusiana is here with differing details. The 
wolf bitch of the Welsh legends was a princess, who, 
for her sins, was transformed to that shape, and thus 
long remained. Her name was Gast Rhymhi, and 
had two cubs while a wolf bitch, with which she 
dwelt in a cave. After long-suffering in this guise, 
she and her cubs were restored to human form." 


About a njile to the east of Llech y Filast, there 
stands another cromlech, on rising ground, close to 
the Duffrjm Lodge, the one nearest to St. Lythans. 
This cromlech of the Duffryn is quite a landmark 
of the country. It stands about twelve feet in 
height, and is supported by three uprights, upon 
which the covering stone rests fairly evenly. The 
dimensic«is of the covering stone are twelve feet 
long by ten feet in breadth, and about two feet in 
thickness. This cromlech stands out in imposing 
greatness, and in this respect is a great contrast to 

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the one of St. Nicholas. It undoubtedly can lay 
claim to be one of the finest specimens now extant^ 
though not of great magnitude. The farm land on 
which it stands is known as Maes Ellen or Helen. 

Cromlech op Marcboss is known in the traditions 
of the neighbourhood as Hen Eglwys. This has 
arisen from the supposed fact that the first Christians 
of this neighbourhood worshipped on the site of this 
prehistoric structure, long before the erection of any 
sacred edirice, hence the Welsh name. There are 
to-day but very few remains of the old cromlech. 

There are parts of a demolished cromlech near the 
town of Cowbridge, in close proximity to the remains 
of an old tumulus. 

On the highest point of the Bryn Gwyddil hills, 
known locally as the Aberdare mountains, there is a 
part of the summit which is called the castell; this 
has distinct traces of an ancient camp, with a deep, 
trench, which, from its partly circular shape is 
undoubtedly of British construction. In the centre 
of the camp there^re large accumulations of scat- 
tered stones, which archaeologists believe is a razed 
cairn, and beneath which there are distinct remains 
of a small cromlech. It is an unusual feature to find 
a cromlech in the centre of a camp of defence. This 
camp has been so skilfully arranged that it com- 
mands a wide sphere of observation, and evidently 
was a position of great defence. We are led to the 
conclusion that the cairn and cromlech were the 
burial place of a person of great distinction. 

Meini Hir, or Standing Stones — Stones of this 
character are very numerous in our county. 
They are found on the summits of the hills, in 

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the low, undulating stretches of the Vale, and also 
in some places in the narrow valleys. They are of 
various designations, such as Maen y Breniis^ 
(King's stone), Maen Terfyn (boundary stone), 
Maen Gobaith (Guide stone), etc. These stones, as a 
rule, are unhewn monoliths of various heights rang- 
ing from four feet to eight feet. 

Ab Ithel, in his description of Druidic stones, says 
that the Maen Gobaith, or the Guide stone, was of 
such importance, that by the ancient laws of Dyfn- 
wal Moelmud, it could neither be removed nor 
destroyed^ under a penalty of death to the would-be 
despoiler. It was intended as a guide or finger-post 
to travellers over mountains and rlpsolate tracts of 
country, where beaten and well-trodden track-ways 
were absent. Such stones are found standing on 
the slopes and summits of some of our hills. 

Maen y Brenin was another of the monoliths 
which was not to be removed or cast down, under a 
penalty of death. This was a stone of very great sig- 
nificance, because to it was *' affixed public notices 
or proclamations," whatever these might be in 
prehistoric times. These stones were generallj^ 
erected in convenient centres, where several ancient 
trackways crossed one another. 

Maen Terfyn, or the Boundary Stone, marked the 
limits of the territory which pertained to various 
tribes or families. Its removal, like the others, was 
punishable by death. This forcibly reminds us of 
the injunction in Holy Writ: '* Cursed be he that 
removeth his neighbour's landmark " (Deut. xxviii. 
17). One of such boundary stones may still be seen 
standing between Kenfig and Margam. Thisls called 

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to the present day the Boundary Stone of Fitzhamoa, 
in reference to the limits of the lordship of that 
baron, when he was lord of the manor of Kenfig. 

There are other stones in our county which can- 
not be classified under any of the above heads, 
neither do they belong to the prehistoric ages. Tn 
some instances they are commemorative monoliths, 
and yet are far removed from religious houses and 
the customary places of sepulture. Some of thest* 


stones are of a really unique and interesting char- 
acter. Perhaps the most interesting of all is what is 
called the Ogam Stone of Kenfig, which is the only 
example of a maen-hir with ogam characters in the 
county. It is really a stone of a bi-lingual character, 
for on its narrower face it bears a Latin inscription, 
in two vertical lines: — 



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The stone stands, unprotected, by the roadside 
which leads from Kenfig to Margani. It is an un- 
dressed monolith of sandstone being 4 feet 6 inches 
high by 1 foot 3 inches wide and 1 foot 9 inches in 
thickness. The Ogams are on the right-hand edge, 
and have baffled all efforts of the most renowned 
archaeologists. Dr. John Rhys says that the vowels 
have been almost entirely obliterated, and possibly 
some of the consonants as well. He has endeavoured 
to give a reading of them, which may be seen in the 
Arch. Camb., April, 1899. He reads them upwards 
and also downwards. Mr. Westwood states that the 
proper reading of them was from the bottom up- 
wards, and that the interpretation bears the local 
name of " Bedd Morgan Morganwg," i.e.. The grave 
of Morgan Morganwg. This emphasises the legen- 
dary lore attached to it, and confirmed the interpre- 
tation put upon it by Camden, who, however, has 
perpetuated the humorous but erroneous reading of 
the Liatin inscription which was prevalent in the six- 
teenth century. Camden tells us that he was informed 
by the Right Rev. the Bishop of Llandaff that the 
Welsh of his time, by adding and changing some of 
the letters, made it to read PUMP BYS CAR A'N 
TORIVS, i.e. " The five fingers of our friend or kins- 
man killed us." 

The BoDvoc Stone which is called by the natives 
" Maen Llythyrog," stands on the hill about two 
miles to the north of Margam Abbey. Near it is 
the tumulus which bears the familiar name of " Crug 
Diwlith," where the bards of Tir la^ll are said to 
have revived the Chair of Morganwg in times 
following the Norman Conquest, after their 

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meetings luid been discontinued, consequent upon 
the unsettled state of tlie county for a long period. 
Cadrawd tells us that Cadair Tir larll was estab- 
lished by one Morgan, Lord of Aberavan, and was 
endowed by the Earl of (?lare, who granted it one 
plough land in l^ttws, Llangynwyd, and Llan- 
geinor, and the right of grazing for the six summer 
months, frou) the 1st May to 1st November. The 
bards assembled on the greensward of Bettws, on the 
mound of Crug-y-diwlith, and on the green on 
Baiden Mountain. It was then that the Norman 
lords became patrons of the Welsh bards, and are 
said to have acquired a proficiency in their lan- 
guage : they appreciated their national institution — 
the Eisteddfod, and took part in it. 

The monolith of Bodvoc stands about five feet high 
by IJ feet broad. It is of exceedingly hard quality 
stone, and is said by Camden to have been erected 
as a sepulchral monument. The inscription thereon 
is in debased Latin capitals, and is thought to h« 
of the fifth or early sixth century. 


There is an inscribed Maltese cross on the flat 
surface of the top of the stone. An old superstition 
prevailed in the neighbourhood for many centuries, 
that whoever happened from curiosity to read the 
inscription thereon would surely die soon after. This 
prevailed even in Camden's time for he writes " Let 
the reader therefore take heed what he does: for if 
he reads it he shall certainly dye." 

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A cast of this stone may now be seen in the Qardiff 

In the parish of Cadoxton juxta Neatji there 
existed a very ancient inscribed stone. In common 
parlance it was known as Maen dau lygad yr ych. 
(The stone of the two eyes of the ox). It was called 
by such a name because it possessed two round C£|;V- 
ities in its surface, which served as mortices for 
holding two upright pillars. Within recent years 
it appears that one of these pillars served for a 


Edward Llwyd in 1786 a.d., refers to this stone as 
a very remarkable one. It bore the inscription 
Maroi Coritana Filii Berioi, which has been 
interpreted by some authorities to read " In memory 
of Coritini the son of Bericus." 

In the north-east of the county, on Cef n Gellygaer, 
and in close proximity to its highest elevation, called 
Cam y Bugail, there may be seen to-day one of the 


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most remarkable of the Mein-hir of the post- 
Roman period. It is situate close to the old Roman 
Road which traverses the Gellygaer Common from 
the old Roman fort of Gellygaer to Mynydd y Waen, 
Merthyr Tydfil. This would be one of the Via 
Mont anas which afforded communication between 
the military road of the seacoast and the fortresses 
which the Romans had erected among the mountains 
for the purpose of guarding the mines which they 
had opened to extract the minerals in various parts. 

The Maenhir of Cam y Bugail is a rude monolith 
of a quadrangular form, standing in a sloping direc- 
tion, some eight feet high. In its neighbourhood 
are several cairns and tumuli of various sizes. Near 
the base of the monolith is an inscription in old 
British characters, which reads ** I YI." This is all 
that now remains of a longer inscription, which the 
storms of ages have worn away. 

Upon reference to Camden we find that it read in 
his time as " YEFHO I HI," i.e„ " Deffro i ti.*' The 
stone appears to be in the same position to-day as 
it was in the sixteenth century, as the following 
description by Camden proves: — . 

** It stands not erect but somewhat inclining ; 
whether casually, or that it was so intended 
is uncertain. Close at the bottom of it, on 
that side it inclines, there is a small bank or 
intrenchment, inclosing some such span as 
six yards ; and in the midst thereof a square 
area, both which may be better delineated 
than described. I suppose that in the bed 
or area in the midst a person has been 

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interred; and that the inscription must be 
read " Tefro i ti " or " Deffro i ti/' which in 
Welsh signifies " Mayest thou awake." 
On the Brithdir hill and near to the chapelry ^f 
the same name there is a similar stone slightly in- 
clined like the other, which from its Latin inscrip- 
tion is also a sepulchral monolith of the post-Roman 
times. This monolith bears the name of Maen 
Teybixog from its inscription in debased Latin. 
(Teyrnog the son of Martins lies here). It is upon 
record that Tegebnacus or Teyrnog was one of the 


grandsons of Gwladys, a saintly daughter of 
Brychan Brycheiniog. 

In the former case we have the Cymro expressing 
his belief in the resurrection from the dead, in his 
own tongue. In the latter case he writes a com- 
memorative inscription in the language of his 

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52. Defeat of Silures by Ostorius Scapula. 

78. Construction of Military Highway — The Via 

.Tulia Maritima. 
408. Departure of Romans from Britain. 
436. Probable enthronement of Dyfrig as Bishop of 

546. Battle of Camlan, and Death of Arthur. 
1093. Conquest of Glamorgan by Robert Pitzhamon. 
1107. Robert Consul, First Earl of (jloucester, and Lord 

of Glamorgan. 
1120. Commencement of erection of first Norman 

Cathedral at Llandaff. 
1129. Pounding of Neath Abbey by Richard de Gran- 
1140. Pounding of Ewonny Priory by William de 

1147. Pounding of Margam Abbey by Robert, Pirst 

Earl of Gloucester. 
1147. Pounding of Benedictine Priory at Cardiff. 
1153. Capture of Cardiff Castle by Ivor Bach, of 

Cagtell Coch. 
1171. Henry II. passed through Cardiff on his way to 

1173. John, Earl of Montaigne, afterwards King John, 

made Lord of Glamorgan. 

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1188/ Preaching of Second Crusade in South Wales. 

1 1 99. De Clares become Lords of Glamorgan. 

1256. Founding of BlaCk Friars Monastery at Cardiff. 

1280. Founding of House of Grey Friars at Cardiff by 

Gilbert de Clare. 
1282. Conquest of Wales by Edward I. Glamorgan 

made a shire. 
1314. Death of Gilbert de Clare, tlie eighth of that 

name, at Bannockburn. 
1815. Rebellion of Llewelyn Bren. 
1326. Edward II. a fugitive in Glamorgan. 
1402. Owain Glyndwr's first visit to Glamorgan. 
1485. Jasper Tudor appointed Lord of Glamorgan. 

1535. Incorporation of Marches of Wales into counties. 

1536. Dissolution of the Monasteries. 

1547. Charter granted to William Herbert to work iron 
ore- at Llantrisant. 

1563. Passing of the Act for Translation of the Scrip- 
tures into Welsh. 

1583. Mines Royal Company opened Copper smelting 
works at Neath. 

1588. Publication of Dr. Morgan's Welsh Bible. 

1595. Dr. William Morgan enthroned Bishop of Llaii- 

1607. Great flood in South Wales ; St. Mary's Church, 

Cardiff, washed away* 
1642. Commencement of Great Civil war. 
1645. King Charles sought an asylum in South Wales. 

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1646. Fall of Ilaf:lan Cafitle. 

1648. Battle of St. Pagans. 

1648, Oromwell and his Ironsides in South Wales. 

1717. Copper smelting works started at Landore by 

Dr. Lane. 
1727. Taibach copper smelting works started. 

1755. Erection of Pontypridd one-arched bridge by 

Wm. Edwards. 
1758. Starting of iron smelting furnaces at Merthyr by 

Lewis of the Van. 
1770. Pirst printing press in the county opened at 

1795. Glamorgan Canal from Cardiff to Navigation 

1795. Neath Canal opened. 

1798. Swansea Canal opened. 

1799. Pirst iron smelting furnace opened in the 

Aberdare Valley. 
1804. Trial of Trevethick's "high pressure locomotive" 

on tramroad from Penydarran to Navigation. 
1811 Nantgarw porcelain factory opened by Billingsley. 
1814. Swansea porcelain factory started. 
1822. Port Tennant Canal opened. 
1839. Opening of Pirst Docks at Cardiff. 
1841. Opening of Taff Vale Railway to Merthyr Tydlil. 

1846. Opening of Taff Vale Bail way to Aberdare. 
184G. Commission of Enquiry on Education in Wales. 

1847. Opening of Pirst Docks at Swansea. 

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1850. Opening of Taff Vale Railway to Treherbert. 

1850. Opening of South Wales (G. W.R.) to Swansea 

1851. Opening of Vale of Neath Railway. 

1857. Completion of modern restoration of LlandafF 


1858. Opening of Rhymney Railway. 
1865. Opening of Penarth Dock. 

1883. Cardiff University College opened. 

1889. Opening of Barry Dock and Railways. 

1894. University of Wales founded. 

1906. Cardiff raised to the dignity of a city. 

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